Can you believe it?
We are about to enter into a new year, with the hopes that this upcoming year is filled with a lot less challenges and a lot more opportunity.
We have all endured a lot, especially as we have collectively had to deal with the continuation of the relentless COVID-19 pandemic, which continues to ravish our country on a daily basis.
Some of us have lost loved ones. Some of us have lost jobs and income. Some of us are simply trying to figure out how to pick up the fractured pieces and go into the New Year with a brighter outlook on life. That applies to our personal lives, as well as our overall community.
The African American community has experienced another tough year of heartache and disappointment, whether socially or politically, and although we can’t do anything about our past or what happened to us, we can prepare for our future and position ourselves for greater results.
That starts with choosing to R.E.B.U.I.L.D.
There is a popular quote from one of America’s most profound African American historical heroes named Frederick Douglass, who once said, “I prayed for 20 years but received no answer until I prayed with my legs.”
In order for anything to happen in this world, God won’t be the one doing it for us alone. It will require God using us to step up and play a major part in getting things done.
In the Bible, Nehemiah comes to mind as a prime example of how that quote by Frederick Douglass is personified in a real life situation.
Nehemiah always had a sincere concern for his people, as well as a passionate desire to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. For historical context, the walls of Jerusalem had been destroyed by a previous king who knocked down the walls and burned down the city’s gates. Nehemiah could not shake the burning desire he had embedded within his soul to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.
One day, while he was in the palace of the king he worked for, the king noticed that Nehemiah had a sad countenance on his face and inquired why he was sad. Nehemiah promptly told the king that he was so downcast because his home, Jerusalem, was in terrible shape and that the walls needed to be rebuilt and restored. When the king asked Nehemiah what he could do to help him address the problem, Nehemiah requested that the king allow him to travel back home to Jerusalem so that he could rebuild the walls. Not only did the king agree to allow Nehemiah to go to Jerusalem, he also provided him with the resources he needed for the rebuilding project.
Relationships and resources matter when it comes to rebuilding what has been dismantled.
Upon his arrival back home to Jerusalem, Nehemiah went to see the condition of the wall and quickly realized that it required a lot of work to rebuild it. Nehemiah went on to share his vision of rebuilding the wall with several fellow Israelites. He solicited their assistance with the task of rebuilding the broken down walls of Jerusalem.
Although everyone didn’t participate, Nehemiah was successful in getting a remnant of Israelites to buy into his vision and commit to rebuilding the wall.
As with anything that we try to do when it comes to rebuilding, there will be challenges and there will be enemies that will arise and seek to deter our efforts to rebuild. We must acknowledge those challenges and those enemies, but refuse to quit and get sidetracked.
Several people in authority—Sanballat, Tobiah, Geshem, and several other enemies—saw how the Israelites had come together to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem, so they came up to Nehemiah and his colleagues and threatened to kill them and stop their rebuilding work. Once Nehemiah received those threats, he gave instructions to his fellow Israelites not to run from the challenge, but to defend themselves by any means necessary. Because he was focused on rebuilding the wall, Nehemiah got with his remnant of people and devised a plan to have everyone work with a tool in one hand and a weapon in the other. This community of like-minded Israelites refused to stop and they kept rebuilding the wall, as they kept their weapons ready to defend themselves day and night. In just 52 days, Nehemiah and his cohorts rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem and accomplished the unified goal that was set forth.
Whenever we try to rebuild, we will undoubtedly face challenges and enemies along the way, just like Nehemiah and his fellow Israelites did. At the end of the day, it was a team effort.
In order for us to rebuild the wall in our communities, we must establish our own personal conviction and see it through to the finish, whether you have anybody with you or not. If we are so fortunate as to have the right remnant of people join us to get the job done, that is even better.
If you love acronyms, here is one for you to appreciate and cherish—R.E.B.U.I.L.D.
As a people, we need to do the following in order to R.E.B.U.I.L.D. our personal lives and our community going into the New Year, especially if you feel as though you had a rough year.
- Research and seek out information that we all need to know so that we can move towards progress, especially when we have access to so many available resources
- Educate ourselves by going to school, learning trades, attending community colleges, taking online classes, and seeking out mentors
- Buy Land and Property and then learn how to keep that land and property safe and protected
- Understand the Power of Unity because we can do more as a team than we can as individuals
- Include our youth in everything we do because they know how to do new and innovative things to help us move forward, especially in the areas of modern technology
- Lead when other people won’t because if we don’t step up to lead nobody will
- Decide to have a positive attitude that leads to success.
These are a few simple nuggets that should help us all as we enter the New Year.
Everyone reading this should know one thing.
Our ingenuity, creativity, talent, and skills can only take us so far, but it will be our courage, perseverance, and unrelenting faith that will sustain us.
COVID-19 has taught us an awful lot about ourselves in such a short period of time. It has taught us that life is full of unpredictable and unprecedented challenges that are sometimes beyond our control. As a people, we have always had to face challenges and enemies, but we have persevered and overcome. Going into the New Year, we should be no different.
If rebuilding our personal lives and our community was so simple and easy, we wouldn’t find the challenges and enemies we encounter to be so difficult to deal with.
Despite our challenges and our enemies, we must choose to rebuild, even when it seems impossible to do so. We must have a clear vision for our future and we must refuse to allow anyone who doesn’t have our best interest at heart to deter us.
Choose to R.E.B.U.I.L.D. everyone…Happy New Year!