A Plan For Thriving in A Trump America Pt. 2
Last week, after a Trump-tacular election we all really needed some real ideas for making sure that we are not overwhelmed with fear of a Trump presidency. We needed something of substance to calm our emotions and put us back on good footing. For my part, I wanted to offer some valuable ideas to help with the healing in light of our culture being blown completely off its feet by the election result. So, I dug for practical, scripturally-rooted ideas for not only how to “survive” but thrive for the next four years and beyond. In this post we examine part two of that set of ideas. Initially, I planned to only do it in two parts but, as the words piled up, I thought better of it. So, after this there will be one last post. Piles of words don’t always work well because, as I mentioned before…attention spans. Ok, let’s get back to it.
4. Plan (Nehemiah 2:4-20) (PMI Project Management)
Write out plans. Pay attention to the details of what we learned during our fasting and praying. What eternal principles began to emerge through our prayer and scripture reading? How do they apply to the current situation? How do we find opportunity in catastrophe? Light in darkness?
Before there’s any substantial movement there should at least be a basic outline of a plan. What is the ultimate goal? Break down the steps it will take to get there. Create short-term goals that will keep us on task as we build toward long-term goals. What is the timeline? Milestones? No matter how large or small the work we are about to do, we need a plan so that it goes from a dream to a vision. How much will it cost us to commit to it? Are we willing to do what it takes to succeed? What are some resources and who are some qualified people who can help us educate ourselves along the way?
Need an example? Check it out: One thing we know we will need during a Trump presidency is financial savvy. This is true regardless of who the President actually is. But it is even more so as we, most likely, move to an era of decreased government benefits for the poor and a heavier tax burden on ordinary citizens. We know that our financial capacity is directly related to our ability to earn and to build wealth. So, what skills and strengths do we have? Is there a business we can start? What can we do to generate income? Do we have a budget? How much can we save this week? This month? The next six months and so on? What kind of investments in income-generating resources can we make with those savings? What financial specialists can we consult to help with the process and accountability?
All of these questions will begin to help build a path toward thriving regardless of who the President is or what he’s planning to do. It’s not easy so I won’t say it is. But, the process is pretty straightforward. And, most importantly, these ideas work regardless of where the culture is or what obstacles appear to be in our way. They work whether your goal is generating $1000 of additional income every month or starting a new political party.
5. Work (Nehemiah 2:17-18)
Rubber, meet road. In the words of OutKast, “You need to get up, get out and get something…” Now that we’re prayed up, we have a clear vision, and at least a basic plan–it’s time to go out and change the reality. The telling aspect of Nehemiah’s story is that after praying in the first chapter the rest of his story is a journal about the actual work. He didn’t stop praying and we shouldn’t either. But, it’s clear from the scriptures that the rest of his time was marked by being out in the culture making things happen. He was literally building for the rest of the book whether it was building the physical wall or building relationships and people who would eventually be both spiritually and structurally sound–son was working.
In the work Nehemiah had ample opportunity to give up. He and his fellow workers were physically threatened on multiple occasions. While they were building, others were trying to tear down. While they were building, others were in their ears trying to convince them that they were wasting their time and all of their work would be in vain. Sound familiar? Look, just because we are doing what we think is right doesn’t mean that our obstacles, whether material or human, are going to part like the Red Sea on our way to our vision for our life, our community, or our country. In fact, quite the opposite is true. The more good we try to do the more likely we will find ourselves the target of the audience’s tomatoes. But, that can’t stop us. We have the vision. We have the strength. We have the resources. We have the plan. The only thing that can stop us is…us.
So, under a Trump administration there will be plenty of work to be done. What an understatement right? Our local communities still need mentors and tutors for young people. The American legal system still needs to be cleaned up so that it is fair and just for all people, regardless of race, and socio-economic status. Our local churches could still use our energy to help improve the conditions in our local neighborhoods. If we think hard enough there is work that needs to be done even in our own homes!
Still more to come…
– a brute connoisseur