I’ll be really honest right now. I really, really, really do not like politics or what political races, mudslinging, policy-talking, or anything else related to politics means. So for this particular presidential race where every time I turned on the morning news for the past year, it opens with the latest Trumpism or Clintonism, I have now stopped even approaching the TV in the morning. No more.
So the fact that I’m going to even vaguely touch on politics today is grating on my nerves.
But I’m done.
Done allowing the puffed-up egos and the back-talking deceit to start the day in an angry, bitter, fearful way that is neither healthy nor helpful.
Done hearing the non-stop vicious words about fellow candidates and the hateful condemnations of people that is just not doing anyone any good, and that’s putting it mildly.
Done watching political rallies become ugly uncivil uprisings, vicious battles between blue and colors wage war in the streets, daily photos of victims or murder suspects plastered on TV screens, stories of helpless and fearful people caught up in the aftermath of volatility that erupts when political fuel is added to the flames of discontent and malintent.
Because all of that just serves one purpose – feeding the ravenous beasts of Anger and Hate and Violence and Fear.
Those brutes are already lurking everywhere, waiting to pounce on any and all of us, especially the weak, the vulnerable, the hopeless, the fearful. So why help the Anger and Hate and Violence and Fear destroy us from the inside out?
The thing about politics is that, while it overwhelmingly adds headaches that look like paperwork, taxes and health insurance messes and eventually degrades education and other systems we have to live with, it gets so bogged down in its own debates that look nothing short of a schoolyard brawl or a cafeteria food fight, that we have lost the validity of any of it and the essence of its foundation.
So keeping that in mind, who is left to handle the rest of the stuff? You know, the stuff that is left behind when policies fail or the stuff that fell through system breakdowns or the stuff that slipped through sub-committee cracks while the politicians are busy being political.
Yes, we can fear the policies that one candidate or another will bring to the party.
Yes, we can fear the ferocity that is sweeping a nation of free speech with few pauses or feelings for the effects of said speeches upon the ears and the lives of people who long for a leader of strength and virtue and acceptance.
Yes, we can fear the inevitable changes that a new leader will make and the fall-out that will trickle down into our lives, scraping us up until we eventually accept that the scars are growing pains of a nation trying to “get it right.”
Yes, we can cower and hide and hunker down with our anxiety and worry and disgust and discouragement.
But to what end? What good will it do?
What it all really means is that we have more work to do. A lot more work to do.
Work that looks like Faith. Trust. Belief. God.
We cannot allow what is happening in the political arena to discourage our hope, to squelch our joy, to destroy our trust that God really, truly does know what He is doing, even in the midst of the turmoil erupting on TV screens and in nasty presidential campaigns and in gorgeous Washington DC buildings.
What if this whole mess was really God’s way of telling us that we need to lean harder on Him, and not depend on our political leadership to bring us out of whatever struggles we face?
What if the distant ideals of peace and equality and hope and dream were not being dashed against the rocks of institution and establishment and character assassination and deceit, but were rather obtainable in the only Rock of stability and promise that can ever fully be entrusted with such lofty visions because God’s power and might is so infinitely greater than any ideal or raw deal?
What if the snarly thing called politics was really God’s way of lighting a fire in our souls to finally step up to the plate and to do something in His name to build up our breaking society?
What if all of the quagmires of anger and fear and violence that entrench our feet with every news story were battles that have already been won, conquered on a Calvary cross, shredded and nailed and scorned with just as much anger and fear and violence as any seen today?
What if politicians really didn’t have as much say in our lives as we give them, because in reality, the One who has the Ultimate Say in our lives is the same One who already knows the outcome and who always has our backs and holds our hands?
What if the worries that push us into dark corners are really the pieces of our being that we must drag out into the Light and use our innermost gifts, the ones only God sees and knows intimately, to find solutions instead of fears?
What if the policies that dictate so much and so little simultaneously were really recognized as what they are – substandard by Heavenly proportions and absolutely unlikely to have an infinite impact on your standing in Jesus’ eyes?
What if the breakdowns of society and humanity were cries for help, not calls to violence, and that the Source of the most lasting help for the beaten up and broken down is already with them and with us, He just needs our willing hands and feet to venture forward in love and not fear or hate?
What if the stars and stripes that wave full of memories and sacrifices and dreams were not just symbols of American freedom and democratic establishments but also of the brightest star in the dark night sky that shone upon a humble stable and a special Son in a far-away land and of the bloody stripes thrashed across the sin-laden back of the sacrificial Lamb, the Son of the Most High and the King above all other authorities?
What if God knows exactly what is happening, exactly what is coming, and exactly what we need to do about it all?
Trust. Believe. God’s got this. God’s got you.