I’m not a highly political person. I tend to roll with the flow instead of swimming against the tide. I ride the wave, I don’t make them. I don’t share my opinions very often, because I’m not as savvy as those around me, and I’m not a big fan of conflict. But I do have a couple things I want to say now that this election is over.
First, I firmly believe that our system is horrendously flawed. The thing that grated on me the most as this election droned on was the endless impossible promises that were being made. No one can promise anything because as soon as they try to push for their platform and programs their efforts are thwarted by the other party who, responding like a spoiled three year old puts their own interests (read pride) ahead of their opponents. Civil servants. That’s what we need not self-centered, ego-driven, professional systematicians who completely lack civility and have no concept of what it means to be a servant.
And we are no better than they. I was scrolling through my tweets today and I began to unfollow people. I get it that someone might be disappointed that their candidate didn’t win, but to make statements like: freedom and democracy died yesterday does nothing but fuel the fires that are burning and destroying. Are we spoiled children who only know how to take our marbles and go home when we don’t get our way? Or are we adults who know how to work together for the common good? Why does it take tragedy and adversity to blur the political lines so we can work in unity? Why isn’t this modus operandi?
I finally came upon a few tweets that encouraged prayer for our nation, our leaders, and our president. As believers, shouldn’t that be what we are about? If there is one thing I heard, it is this: it is time to move forward. Moving forward doesn’t mean abandoning our values, but it does mean letting go of the thinking that we have to go back in time to something for things to be better. Let’s make things better now.
When I was a therapist working with children, I often used an illustration about making cookies. As anyone who knows me will attest to, I am not a cook, nor a baker. In my life I have burned more cookies than I can count. My cookies also tend to stick to the pan, resulting in more crumbs than cookies. I gave up crying about crumbly cookies long ago because I learned that cookie crumbs are valuable, too. Cookie crumbles go good on ice cream or in oatmeal. They are not something to be wasted, they are to be used and celebrated. Life offers us many opportunities to look for creative solutions and possibilities within situations. I can see oodles of applications of this to our situation today.
One of the things I have found to be critical in my life of faith and in my life as a responsible citizen, is personal accountability. This political climate and situation isn’t an ‘us vs. them’ problem. We all need to be accountable and responsible. We need to be sure that our horizontal relationship with God is right and then work for the same in our vertical relationships with one another. Freedom and democracy didn’t die, but I sure wish animosity would. I wish self-promotion would. Those are the things that are choking out what is good, and true, and Godly.
So how will we respond? Will we whine and put bumper stickers on our cars that inform others we didn’t vote for this leadership and we don’t intend to work with it either? If so, I’m pretty sure it will not be honoring to God or impactful on a world in desperate need of a Savior. Or will we choose to work towards unity? Will we speak up for those who have no voice? Will we endeavor in our words and our actions to do nothing that is not honoring to God? Will learn to agree to disagree without being disagreeable? Will we seek to move forward without beating others over the head with how things used to be and make something good and right out of what we have now?
The balloting may be over, but there are still plenty of choices to be made.