This post is not intended to be about politics. It is about people. It is about how to live in community knowing that we will RARELY find human beings who see eye to eye on everything. It is about being prayerful, intentional people of love and action. It is about how to respond when you win...and how to react when you don't get your way. It is about being very careful how we live and the message our words and actions send to others and to the impressionable eyes and hearts of our children.
I live in a red state among a region of red states. I have heard and read many concerning things today regarding the outcome of the election. Some Romney backers have displayed disappointment, others have pledged to pray for and support the President even though he wasn't their choice, and there is yet another segment that is off the charts in their predictions that the 'sky is falling'. As I sorted through some of the responses in the latter category, I tried to feel empathy for those with the most vitriolic messages--searching for the underlying feelings really behind their words. What I read is fear. There is a basic distrust in what the future holds. Many people are frightened (perhaps even rightfully so).
I, like many other parents, tried to engage my children in this election process. They asked us who we voted for. We talked about a few reasons why. Last night after dinner we spent an hour watching the reports of the early results. This morning when they woke up, my boys were both anxious to know 'who won.' They responded as if Alabama or Georgia had lost a big game. (I know this is bigger than that, but they are eight!) In every contest with more than one participant there is a winner and a loser. It's life.
As I spent a bit of time at school this morning I overheard 7-8 year olds comparing notes of how they responded (what they threw) when they found out Obama won. I heard of other grade school children who cried or admitted being 'afraid' of what will happen next. Since when do elementary school children need to be burdened with this stuff? It gave me a serious check in my spirit. We adults need to watch it.
We say that we are fighting for the future...for our children.
Believers say that we trust God as our King regardless of who is in the
Oval office. Somehow we are allowing our efforts to lead our children to
feelings of anger and insecurity. Somewhere our message is being lost
This is not written in an effort to be especially critical of either
party. Had the outcome been a Romney win, I am certain Obama supporters
would be similarly frustrated and frightened today. This is where we all
need to take a big collective breath...
We can disagree. We can be disappointed. We can have our passions
that fuel our desire for change. I even dare to say that we can allow
ourselves to feel frustrated, angry or sad--but we must ask the Lord to
stop us from letting those negative emotions take hold and lead us into
Again, this isn't just about politics. It is about life. It is about what happens in our hearts when we don't get our way.
The diagnosis is not what we'd hoped.
The relationship that we have humbled ourselves to try and salvage leads to more rejection.
The job/house/hope is lost.
The one for whom we prayed healing dies.
What do we do then?
Do we pitch a temper tantrum or do we live what we say we believe...that God is Sovereign...that He chose something different that what we had hoped...that we need to lick our wounds, confess our feelings to Him and obediently follow Him to the next thing.
Our children are watching. Non-believers are too. This is where the rubber meets the road.
I have been thinking a lot about the message I want my trio to have from November 2012. I think it is this: I prayed. I obeyed what I thought God wanted me to do. It doesn't mean my guy won...but I have peace. I will move forward in thanksgiving, grateful that I serve a God who knows the future. He sees the whole picture and this is His Will.
Many of my fellow Americans voted for Obama because of the positive impact they hope his presidency will have on their lives. Between tax code changes and Obamacare, there will likely be a significant negative economic impact on my family from this election. That doesn't have to mean there will be a relational and spiritual one as well.
Let's work together to solve many of the issues that have stirred us. Let's model how God-fearing adults handle conflict and disappointment. Let's figure out how to heal, how to love and how to NOT do this to one another again in four years.
In ALL things, to God be the glory.