Election Angst

Leading up to last Tuesday’s election, I had talked to many people about their views, opinions and overall angst around this presidential election. The best story I heard came from a mother of three grade school kids.  They were all in the van, and the kids were discussing the various opinions they had heard at school surrounding the election.  After a while the mother sensed that her kids were getting upset by what they had been hearing and she felt their anxiety.  So she said, “Now kids we have to remember who is in control and not worry. ” She paused again and asked, “Kids who is in control?”  There was complete silence in the car for a few moments until all three kids in unison said, “Mom’s in control!”

Not exactly the answer she was looking for, but she had to admit it was an answer  she felt good about it.  The point this mother was trying to make is that God’s in control.  He is sovereign over the plans and actions of individuals and nations.  No matter what you feel about the election results – anxious about the future, elation over the results or troubled by the whole process- can we make sure we put our ultimate faith not in a person or political party but in the transcend God that is in control? Her kids didn’t get it but can we?

Next, can we disagree without being disagreeable? Martin Marty, a well known theologian said, “In America there are two political parties, but they aren’t the Democrats and the Republicans, they are the mean and non mean parties.”    The non-mean party can disagree without being disagreeable.  They can disagree with others without insulting the other person’s intelligence, their character or their patriotism. Christ followers can have many different political opinions and disagree on many things in the political realm, but we are called to love each other and show respect for everyone.  Can we seek to understand first and then be understood?  Can we show empathy for others opinions and experiences when they are different than our own?  Can we all join the non-mean party?

In 1 Timothy 2:1-2 it says, “I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.” It seems to me that there has never been a better time to pray for our country, and its leaders.  Is that something we can agree on?  Let’s pray for the leaders, the factions, the hurt and pain that this election has caused so many people.  You might say that it would take a miracle to bridge the divide that exists in this country.  Well, God specializes in miracles.  Let’s pray for one.