Tuesday, October 25, 2016

2016 Election Thoughts

Presidential election coverage screams 24/7. On network newscasts and especially on CNN. I am confused, so I write at this critical "Now-and-Not-Yet" moment. If my thoughts represent a flower, they are oval-shaped wild ones with tiny soft spikes... Purple Allium. The ones added to wild-flower bouquets that add variety and texture to pretty daisies and soft greenery. My thoughts, like those spiked ovals, have many points, and each point gets to the point.

With November 8th just around the corner, it is time to make a final decision about my vote for President. Neither candidate comes across as true blue, honest, nor contrite. Each appears to have equal flaws. One refuses to reveal income tax forms (and other things), and the other has chosen to delete revealing emails. It's a draw.

One appears to be more than rude to women; the other is no respecter of persons. In fact, the candidate appears to have a natural tendency to be nasty to a variety of people (actually, they both do). The difference is that one candidate pretty much has a sixth sense for when to suppress those ugly tendencies... the other does not. It's a draw.

One of the platforms supports a key issue that is dear to my heart. The other platform supports just about everything except that one key issue. And health care is important too. Although those issues are important to me, they alone do not tempt my vote for this bizarre election. It's still a draw, because I need a grounded reason.

One candidate builds towers and gets things done, but uses railroading tactics that are highly questionable. The other has a few clear accomplishments. But both candidates are older than I would prefer. I come to a stalemate in this paragraph.

So, I look for the candidate who will be a level-headed leader. One appears to be somewhat passive, and would likely take that same posture as a world leader. And, this candidate has never been a true leader. The other uses openly divisive tactics and is a reactive inciter. Media, and the rest of the world, and somewhere out there a crazed world leader or two... all watch with binoculars and view with figurative microscopes the topics that will push our buttons, and "they" puppeteer us through WikiLeaks. Both candidates are far from flawless as leaders, with ways or responses that are unsettling. Add to the leadership portfolio the daunting global aspect, and again it's a draw.

I step beyond all of those factors and look at what the election process has revealed about we the people. There is anger to the point of rage. I see division and hostility fueled by neediness rather than selflessness. Level-spirited differences of opinion are escalating. No matter who wins this election, we the people of the United States are anything but united. There are deep fissures. I look for the humility-factor, but it is vanishing. Post-election 2016 America might have one vengeful loser. And that concerns me greatly. Hell hath no fury like a particular woman again "scorned" of the Presidency or especially a particular man trumped. Again, it's a draw.

The balance of power has always been our fail-safe. If one portion of our country's leadership is out of whack, there are checks established. But strongholds and divisive ways are chipping away at that constitutional check and balance. Otherwise called political stalemates.

History reveals many no-win leadership situations. Pharaoh enslaved the Israelite nation, to build his kingdom with free labor. A narcissistic idolater king was smart enough to utilize the wisdom of humble Daniel. A divorced Gentile King was wowed by the beauty of humble Jewish Esther, and she was basically forced to hide her Jewishness or face difficult consequences. There were times of cruel Roman rule and the Holocaust, where Jewish people in particular experienced submissive situations. God allowed all of these seasons of humbling times.

Red, White & Blue
But on Election Day, my color of preference will be..
Years of Presidential election after Presidential election have brought us to this moment. Prayerfully bracing for "Now-and-Not-Yet"... November 8th... and beyond is the similar posture that was modeled in the Bible by humble Prophet Jeremiah and also by the ultimate Good Leader, the Steady One. They were able to embrace a supernatural perspective.

I know I should feel unsettled, but I don't. Rattled balance is more my feeling of the hour. Neither candidate and neither party can "save "America. Not the way it needs to be saved. Only humbling before the flawless One, Almighty God, will show the way. It is not too late to do that, or continue to do that, and face our country's 2016 elections. And afterwards face the music.

I will trust the system and vote for one of the major candidates. As one TV celebrity recently said, in a lighthearted yet serious way: "You don't have to like the candidate for which you vote [pregnant pause] you won't be having them over for dinner."

However, I will continue to see him or her on the evening news at mealtime, for at least the next 4 years. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem. Exciting times are ahead.

Jeremiah 28-29
Mark 11




Wednesday, October 12, 2016

A Bumpy Shoulder is Better Than No Shoulder

Yesterday while driving to work, I believed I would either be a witness to tragedy or an innocent victim. For perspective, I was in the middle lane of three-lane US-65, heading northbound. Which for only a teasing stretch turns into a four-lane highway, with one and a half lanes of vehicles merging onto the highway.

A 16-wheeler in the fast-lane on the left passes me, barreling down the highway going at least 70 mph in a 60-mph zone. It then quickly changes lanes. Like a race car driver. The truck is directly in front of me, and it again changes lanes. Jumping to the slower far-right lane, behind another 16-wheeler, as the large trailer literally rocks. I know I saw streaks of light between those wheels and the pavement.

Again, the truck driver switches lanes, to the right, to what he doesn't realize is basically no lane. It is the short, merge-only lane. Lawless knows he deserves a ticket or death. The unexpected quick ending of the smooth merge lane turns into a wider than average paved shoulder, only for a short stretch.

Tightening my grip on the steering wheel, I am flabbergasted. The two 16-wheelers are neck-and-neck. Their front doors are so close, for a moment, the outside mirrors look conjoined. The tires of Lawless barely hold onto the highway's ever-diminishing shoulder. With a narrow bridge in sight, Lawless turns daredevil. In a very dangerous situation.

Stuck between a truck-and-a-tight-place Lawless and Steady will either crash-and-burn or they will somehow make it. It is a Now-and-Not-Yet, or a Now-or-Never moment. Instead of decreasing his mph mania, he increases his speed, and debris flies. Cooperative Steady has no choice but to hold back and considerably reduce his speed to prevent disaster. All somehow plays out within the span of a few nail-biting seconds. Lawless drives away, on the road again, and so does his counterpart. Steady. Born-ready.

For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work;
but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way.
(2 Thessalonians 2:7)