I have recently taken some time away from Facebook. It didn't really start out as an intentional thing. I more stumbled into a break, deliberately avoiding FB one day at a time. Each day, I chose to avoid FB, only checking in occasionally, with no real thought as to this being a real break.
Then I got back on for quite a stretch yesterday, and I was left feeling -- empty. Like a vacuum. As I thought about why, I came to a realization about current events...
Our country is searching for a savior.
We're in a highly contested election cycle. With four actual contenders (two on each "side"). And almost everyone has "picked their pony," so to speak. Only this time, it seems much more personal.
Our country is in trouble on many fronts. The answers as to why, and the "solutions" for fixing this are varied.
I believe, deep down, that we are searching for a savior. We want someone to come in to fix all the broken things, to right all the wrongs, and to set us on a path to peace and prosperity. In picking our candidate, many have identified with that person as a "savior." It's no wonder then that so many get so angry when someone else disagrees with their choice.
Here's the problem -- there is only One qualified to be Savior. Only One who can right the wrongs, fix the broken, and set us on a path to true peace and true prosperity (as opposed to the temporary, false "peace and prosperity" offered here on earth, often by practitioners of a false gospel).
Sadly, the ones I see most often getting irrationally angry over the perceived slights to their "savior" are those who claim the name of Christ. The church should be the voice of reason in all of this. We ought to be able to point people to the One True Savior.
But we can only do this by laying down our idol -- our own false "savior" and praying conscientiously that God's will be done in this election cycle. Repenting of our own worship of one candidate, one party, or even one system of government.
I can say this because I can fall into this all too easily. I found myself eight years ago worrying over the election, worrying over who might be our next president. Now, I wasn't convinced that ANY of our choices was a savior in the wings, but rather that the WRONG choice would be the ruin of our country. And I "worried" to God. (I can't say I prayed. I really just used God as a sounding board for all my worries.) And He brought to mind this verse -- "Some trust in chariots, and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God." Psalm 20:7 (NIV) I feel safe to say that we can add "government" to that without stretching the meaning.
So I pray that God's will be done, and that He show us mercy as a nation. Because we have turned our back on Him. And I will trust that God's will WILL be done. But know this -- God's will is often very hard, very difficult, and does not look at all like what we "want" in our fallenness. Because God's will is bigger -- our salvation, not our comfort; our holiness, not our happiness. God desires us to desire Him, and if things are too good in the here and now, we often don't want Him at all, don't see our need for Him.
I would urge you to ponder this -- how would "YOUR" candidate answer this question -- "How will you be our savior?! What is your plan to save us?!" If you are not fairly confident that (s)he would say "I am unqualified to save you, there is only ONE who is qualified for that job," then you may need to rethink your choice.
And if you find you simply cannot lay this idol down, then maybe consider sitting this election out. I would argue that it's more important that you search God and trust HIM than that you "do your civic duty" and vote.
If you're looking for a Savior, then please, PLEASE find a Bible and read the book of John. Or find a Christian, one you see living out a life of service, and ask them to explain it to you. But don't look to mere humans. We will let you down every time.