Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Inaugural Thoughts

I received a phone call last week. It was from some political survey group. I had thought those guys were finished for a while, but I guess not.

"Are you a registered Republican?" he asked.

Reluctantly, I answered yes. Reluctantly, because while I consider myself a conservative, I don't like aligning myself with any party. I reserve the right to consider each issue separately, and I'm equally suspicious of all politicians, regardless of party affiliation. Nevertheless, when I was younger and more sure of myself, I did register as a Republican.

So then he asked, "Do you agree that Republicans need to unite and stand strong against Obama's policies?"

"No," I told him. "I don't agree. I would prefer to wait and see what he actually intends to do before I join forces with anyone to stop him." I mean come on, this was last week, when he was still President Elect.

This morning I bought a newspaper, USA Today. It's the second day in a row that I've done that, but I can't remember the last time I bought one (before yesterday, I mean). The newspaper is full of hope. Even the political cartoon was the word "hope" printed over and over again in the shape of the 48 contiguous states. People seem to be really positive that President Obama will be able to fix everything that's wrong with America. They think that the election of a black president means the end of racial divides. For the first time in a long time, Americans seem to be taking an optimistic view of things. They seem to be saying, "Yes, it will be hard, but we can do this thing together." That's nice.

But if our hope is dependent on the man who sits in the Oval Office, we are going to be disappointed. As a nation we are facing some real challenges, and the solutions won't be easy to implement. Changing policies is often a zero sum game where there are winners and losers. Someone is going to be unhappy about the changes. Will they blame the president when that happens?

As for me, I do have hope in this country, and I am willing to make some sacrifices "for the greater good". But I had hope before yesterday's inauguration. I had hope before the election last fall. I had hope when the stock market fell and I had hope when the World Trade Center came down. I spent my childhood idolizing George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, and I believe in our system of government.

But my true hope is not in my government. My true hope is not in my country or my president. My true hope is not in my 401k, or in my cash savings. "My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus' blood and righteousness." That, my friends, is the only hope that will never disappoint you.

Today, I am putting this newspaper away in my desk drawer. Sometime in the future, when I'm in the middle of something else, I'll find this paper, and I'll reflect on the hope of this day, and how it has played out. But whatever happens, there is one thing I know for sure, two things I can count on: God is still God, and Christ is the Solid Rock on which I stand.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

First time reader, long time listener. I enjoyed reading your blog. In the dark oily world of political discussion I find your open mindedness refreshing.