Thursday, October 20, 2016

The day after the election parts 1-3

I originally wrote these posts in 2012, but with the bitterness and anger I see during this election cycle, I felt like it might be time to post them again. 

Now, I usually don't get too "political," but bear with me...I think it will all make sense by the end.

Imagine it is the day after the election. Imagine your candidate - no matter which one that might be - was not elected. Now what? What will your response be? If you think it's yelling and complaining, then you're probably pitching a toddler tantrum. If it's to take a deep breath, trust God, and move forward by praying - honestly praying and not complaining - for your leader...then you're probably being a mature member of our country.

It might take making the decision now - that no matter who wins, we make the decision to pray, trust God, and come back together as a nation. You can still disagree, but even in disagreement we have got to work together. 

All this brings to mind all the yard signs I have seen lately. On my street, there are signs for both candidates - one candidate is on one corner and across the street, the other candidate's sign holds a prominent position. Now, I have nothing against people showing their support, but let's be honest - if I am still undecided at this point then a yard sign probably isn't going to make me choose one candidate over another...and I have to wonder again - what about the day after the election? Will those two neighbors be able to go back to talking about the weather and lawn maintenance after seeing that sign in their neighbor's yard each day? I hope so, but this campaign has gotten so heated, I have my doubts. I have been around long enough to have seen the United States have a number of different presidents - some I agreed with and some I did not. With that in mind, I'd like to make my own "yard sign". It would say something like, "One nation under God - no matter which candidate wins."

Then there are those who make rash statements about how awful life in this country will be if the "other" candidate wins. Seeing the rants and raves reminded me of something that happened with my son when he was about 3 years old. He had one of his toddler meltdowns and decided he didn't like our rules. He was going to run away. In my "parenting wisdom" I tried to use psychology. I told him it would make me sad if he decided he didn't want to be a part of our family, but if he did leave, he'd have to realize that all the cool toys and clothes in that room belonged to the little boy that wanted to be a part of our family. I was feeling pretty proud of my ability to outsmart a 3 year old....until I turned my back and he stripped down naked and headed out the door! I caught him before he made it past the driveway, but that "meltdown" made a memory like none other...and it makes me wonder again about our reaction once this election is over.

Will we be like my toddler and pitch a fit, tossing aside all that is good because we don't like the way things are going? Or will we look around and realize just how blessed we are and find a way to work things out? I hope we'll decide to grow up a bit and remember that through good and bad, through celebrations and disagreements, through elections and inaugurations, we are still family. 

I think it's very significant that not long after the election, we have a chance to sit down together and give thanks for this country. No matter who wins the election - your candidate or the one you desperately don't want - God is still in control.

I'm thinking we'd do a lot less "yelling" during the process if we could remember that.

Daniel 4:35

The Message (MSG)

34-35 “At the end of the seven years, I, Nebuchadnezzar, looked to heaven. I was given my mind back and I blessed the High God, thanking and glorifying God, who lives forever:
“His sovereign rule lasts and lasts, his kingdom never declines and falls. Life on this earth doesn’t add up to much, but God’s heavenly army keeps everything going. No one can interrupt his work, no one can call his rule into question.
Proverbs 16:9
We plan the way we want to live, but only God makes us able to live it.
Proverbs 21: 30-31
Nothing clever, nothing conceived, nothing contrived, can get the better of GodDo your best, prepare for the worst - then trust God to bring victory.
1 Peter 1:3-5
What a God we have! And how fortunate we are to have him, this Father of our Master Jesus! Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we’ve been given a brand-new life and have everything to live for, including a future in heaven—and the future starts now! God is keeping careful watch over us and the future. The Day is coming when you’ll have it all—life healed and whole.

Psalms 33:12-22
Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord,  the people he chose for his inheritance. From heaven the Lord looks down  and sees all mankind; from his dwelling place he watches  all who live on earth—he who forms the hearts of all,  who considers everything they do. No king is saved by the size of his army; no warrior escapes by his great strength. A horse is a vain hope for deliverance;  despite all its great strength it cannot save. But the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him,  on those whose hope is in his unfailing love, to deliver them from death  and keep them alive in famine. We wait in hope for the Lord;  he is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice,  for we trust in his holy name. May your unfailing love be with us, Lord,   even as we put our hope in you.

The day after the election - part 2

Since I got such an overwhelming response to my last post (NOT), I thought I'd do a follow-up. Actually, it's just still on my mind.

This time, instead of imagining that it is the day after the election and your candidate of choice lost, imagine that your candidate won. Now how do you respond?

Most of us have been to a football game and come out on the winning side. When we lose, we often complain about the calls, the bad plays, the opposing fans...and when we win - then what? Maybe we can learn a thing or two from the players on the field.

While there are the cheers of victory, the high-fives among the players and the dumping of ice over the coach's head, it's thattime-honoredd tradition of shaking the other team's hand that I love. Nothing makes a mom's heart swell with pride quite so much as seeing her son reach out to someone that only moments before he was going head to head with in battle. These young men know that despite being on "separate teams", they are all still football players with a love of the game. They come together on common ground.

Can we do something like this the day after the election? Can we reach out to those on the "opposing team" and find common ground - love of our country? Can we learn from our children what we try to instill in them every to be a good sport?

Maybe this analogy is a stretch, but there is much at stake here. While we may not be in agreement over the issues, I hope and pray we can come together in our love for this country we call home. 

Ephesians 4:31-32

31-32 Make a clean break with all cutting, backbiting, profane talk. Be gentle with one another, sensitive. Forgive one another as quickly and thoroughly as God in Christ forgave you.

Colossians 3:12-14

12-14 So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.

1 Thessalonians 5:11

So speak encouraging words to one another. Build up hope so you’ll all be together in this, no one left out, no one left behind.

The day after the election...part 3

Had another one of those "random thoughts". 

Think of the those running for President. 

Ask yourself, "Does my favorite candidate even know my name?" Now think, if something should happen in your life (not on the natural disaster level - just normal 'life' stuff) would the candidate come to your help or those around you? 

I'm thinking, it's not worth alienating those around you to support you

r candidate. The day after the election - the president, whoever that may be, still won't know your name. Those around you will still be the ones who will come when you are in need.

Vote your conscious and leave the results up to God. Reach out to those around you...those from both parties. They are your friends.

Ecclesiastes 4:

7-8 I turned my head and saw yet another wisp of smoke on its way to nothingness: a solitary person, completely alone—no children, no family, no friends—yet working obsessively late into the night, compulsively greedy for more and more, never bothering to ask, “Why am I working like a dog, never having any fun? And who cares?” More smoke. A bad business.
9-10 It’s better to have a partner than go it alone.
Share the work, share the wealth.
And if one falls down, the other helps,
But if there’s no one to help, tough!
11 Two in a bed warm each other.
Alone, you shiver all night.
12 By yourself you’re unprotected.
With a friend you can face the worst.
Can you round up a third?
A three-stranded rope isn’t easily snapped.