Monday, September 17, 2012

Who's Gonna Win, Gonna Win, Gonna Win?

I am counting the days until the election is over the way some count down the days 'til Christmas. I am weary of the debate and the commercials and the mud-slinging. Fact: All parties are corrupt.

Ever since the dawn of time people have looked for leaders to lead. Face it, the majority of people on the planet are followers and are desperate for someone to follow. The first book of Samuel chapter eight tells of the nation of Israel's debate with Samuel over appointing a king. Up until this point, Israel had been ruled by judges but the people became dissatisfied with theocracy and demanded a king so they would "look like everyone else." Samuel tried to tell them what having a king would entail: A king would take their sons and bring them to war. He would take the best of all their land and flocks and belongings, making them his own slaves. "Yeah, whatever--GIVE US A KING," they insisted. And God responded, "Give them their king."

These days, in this country, we get to elect our leaders. Whenever one party is in power, people of a different persuasion tend to think a new ruler/president/government will make things better. We look back on the successes and mistakes in the history of our young nation with either glowing nostalgia for The Good Ol' Days or disdain for the ignorance of our forefathers who weren't necessarily that upright in their methods or ideology. Some feel "If only we could go back in time." Others, "If we knew then what we know now, we'd do it right." Neither is true.

Mankind, as a species, is not improving with each generation as some seem to believe. You need just to watch the world news to see endemic corruption, violence, and terrorism common fare. Civilized people love brutality as much as the audiences of the gladiators of old. We pay money to be entertained by graphic bloodshed in theaters and act out the same in the form of popular video games. We insulate ourselves from the horrors that occur every day where the innocent are slaughtered and starved and ignored. Yet we firmly believe if our party was in power...if the government was run by Christians...why, we could make for ourselves a veritable Heaven on Earth. Or could we?

Things could not have been more perfect in the garden of Eden. And wasn't quite enough. The two first people on the planet wanted more. They wanted power. It wasn't enough to be made in the very image of God, they wanted his ability to discern--for themselves--what was good and what was evil. That thirst for power has infected mankind ever since. And regardless of what motives a leader begins with, you can be sure that by the end there will be an exposing of feet of clay. We are terrible at choosing our own leaders because even the best among us is incurably flawed, selfish to the core. And we are too blind to notice.

You would think, with such a view of humanity, I would be discouraged with people altogether. What is the point then? Why even vote? Why pray for our country at all? I am able to get up every morning with joy in my heart because my trust is not in the fickle decisions of foolish man--he is like King Midas who ruins and poisons everything he touches with his selfish ambition and greed. My hope is in God. He is the one who holds the rulers of the nations accountable. Nothing takes place without his notice. God himself sits on the throne and surveys all the work of his hands. Nothing is hidden from him--no motive, no secrets, no intent of the heart. It is all bare before him. Rulers, drunk with delusions of their own authority, have no power but that which is allowed them. There is a much bigger picture waiting to be assembled than this jagged, current-events piece we hold in our sweaty little hands.

My hope is not in the Democratic Party, nor the Republicans, neither any off-shoot thereof. It is not in Barak Obama that I trust, nor Mitt Romney, nor any of their running mates. My hope is in the Maker and Sustainer of the Universe. He will reign over that which he has created and his will be the final word. Come November, I will not be disappointed regardless of what the voters decide. I'll be glad we can move on to better commercials.

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