Turning on the lights…
In community where I grew up, everyone knew about the Cumberland Electric Membership Cooperative. I loved the CEMC! For those of you who are not familiar with CEMC, I will try and explain. CEMC stands for the Cumberland Electric Membership Cooperative who provides electricity for the five county area in Northern Middle Tennessee where I grew up!
My Grandmother talked of the CEMC with a humble reverence! She remembered life before electricity. She lived through the Great Depression and remembered when the REA and CEMC were created to provide jobs and electrify the countryside. The REA was the Rural Electrification Act developed by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt to begin a process to get electricity into rural areas.
My Grandmother appreciated electricity! She appreciated the CEMC! She would often tell me “I am a member” a statement which she took very seriously. I remember thinking how cool it must be to be a member of something that provided good for so many people! I was proud of my grandmother because she belonged to such an exclusive group! She was my hero for many reasons, she taught me in life to think through processes. At that time in my life, I did not know that the only membership requirement was to have electricity in your home!
All of her neighbors were members also, but she took being a member very careful consideration; she read the monthly publication with diligence. She studied the future plans the cooperative had planned and she would discuss with passion with anyone who would listen about the plans. She also did her part in energy conservation, making sure that lights were not left on unnecessarily, and that the radio and television were in the off position prior to settling down for the night. She would regulate the heat and always try and conserve power with the exception on those cold winter mornings when she would turn the oven on high and open the door to “burn off the cold” in the kitchen. Grand mama could sometimes treat her self to extravagant pleasures such as this.
Each year, she would receive a dividend check from CEMC and that was always a reason to celebrate! We would spend the entire amount at a local grocery store. We would buy unnecessary things with the 15 to 20 dollars she would receive! Apparently my grand mother understood the benefit of economic stimulus and I was always excited because this stimulus benefited me too. I loved the CEMC because the dividend gave me something to look forward to, like Christmas or your birthday. My grand mother would make a great deal about checking the mail, to see if the check had come. I would benefit by receiving toys or candy.
I also loved the Electric Company because they provided lights and heat! They helped us to relax by making sure that we could watch TV or listen to the radio! They helped make the vast darkness of the backyard dissipate by simply flipping a switch. By turning on the 100-watt yellow bug light (that drew bugs instead of repelling them) a dim yellow hue would illuminate the otherwise darkness and increase the area one could play at a late hour.
The CEMC was something to take serious. I was thinking that if we took our Christianity as serious as Grand mama took being a member of the CEMC, how different our lives would be! If we read the Bible and possessed the humble reverence needed when approaching the throne of grace, our lives would be greatly enhanced. Jesus, He is the true light of the world! He provides light that no one can extinguish! He chose believers to be members of a heavenly kingdom that will be in existence for eternity! Do you know the Light of the world? He came and lived as a man, so that in believing in Him by faith and making Him Lord of your life, you will have eternal life. Is He brightly shining in your life today? I pray that He is. I love you all.