Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Before the Votes are Counted

I don’t know who won or lost in today’s election.  The votes aren’t counted as I’m writing this.  My best guess is that the electoral tilt will be to the right.  There will be another week or two of detailed ‘spin’ from all sides and then who knows what will happen.  For sure, the Democrats will need to reorganize in order to reenergize.  The Republicans will have to heal the conservative vs. moderate rift in their own ranks in order to make sure this is not a one and done kind of deal.

America will be able to slow down, catch our collective breath and then start leaning into a world that is filled with both challenge and opportunity.  Are you ready?

If the latest electoral season is any indication we are in deep need of a deeper goodness in our country. Actually, I think that deeper goodness is here.  It’s just obscured a bit.  And we need an infusion of hope. At least I’m sensing we do.  I don’t think Rush, Glen, Jon, the ladies from the View, or Oprah can do it.  Not even Barak or Sarah.  God can certainly use them but we are in need of something more substantive than what our entertainers, pundits, gadflies, and politicians can offer us. 

For some of us that more substantive thing is a reawakening in our spirit.  In our churches it may mean revival.  In many arenas it’s a rediscovery of passion and an unleashing of talent. For sure, I think being more attentive to the promptings of God is at the heart of the renewal that needs to take place.

My prayer is that the church continues to show leadership in all things leading to awakening and re- imagining our preferred future. It means facing down and filling the holes in our gospel (thank you Richard Stearns) and living into the ‘unforced rhythms of grace’ (thank you Eugene Peterson).

The church is at its best when we do what we can do best.  That means showing up where the need is great.  How many hospitals, schools, orphanages, hospices, homeless shelters, feeding centers ….bear the imprint of the faithfulness of God’s people?  It’s everywhere you look  We certainly still see evidence of God’s people going to difficult places, to do difficult things often at the cost of their life.  It makes me want to both applaud and cry.  Even the most jaundiced observer of church life has to give a thumbs up to the millions upon millions upon millions of dollars given freely to help those who have so little.  Add to these heroic efforts the gazillions of little kindness and courtesies done day after day in every workplace and neighborhood that make our world a better place.

Yet, I think we’re just scratching the surface of our potential especially when we gauge the great need all around us.  How many of us are still caught up in things that are so self serving that we just can’t see a very cool, greater call on our life?

The hope we desperately need in our country and around the world is going to come as a result of paying attention to the very things God pays attention to.  In all honesty segments of the church seem to be playing around with things that don’t really matter and missing out on great opportunities to join God where He is truly at work.  I’m more concerned about what we can do proactively going forward rather than staying angry about what has already occurred. 

So, election day is almost over.  Some who read this will be very discouraged over the results.  Some not so much.  In fact, there will be great jubilation in some circles.  If history is any indicator our joys and sorrows in the political arena are short-lived.  It’s rascals in and rascals out (according to a finicky public) in pretty predictable cycles.  But God is doing something beyond our politics and culture battles.  He’s on the prowl.  He knows what needs to be done. As always, God will use the church.  It’s the vehicle He uses. Always has. Always will. I want in on this.  I want in on the next chapter God is writing. How about you? 

So, I will pray for our new leaders and for my friends that want to make a huge impact in the political arena.  May God use them greatly, beyond expectation.  Wouldn’t that be something?  In the meantime there’s another place to play, a different kind of kingdom to serve.  Here’s to the future.

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