I have kept an eye on what people are saying in my circles about Obama's re-election. Things don't look too good there. Fear, anger, frustration, and hopelessness are filling the thoughts of those of us who are supposed to have the most hope. There is no time that the sin of idolatry comes to light more than after a Presidential election. One person I know says that they are taking off a week of work to recover. Another says they are leaving the country. Yet another says this is the downfall of America. It is the end. The downfall of America? The end? Really?
It is hard for me to get too upset about these elections. Sure, there are implications. These implications extend to my family and my job. They make me look at the people in my country and think, "Really, is this who we are now? Is this what it has come down to?" Were I to place the full weight of my body (which is getting lighter every day!) on the chair of human achievement, I suppose I would feel less secure today than I did yesterday. But I don't and I can't. In fact, I found myself rejoicing once the results came in.
Obama is our president for the next four years. How bad is that? I suppose I could talk about all the issues involved, both economic and moral. I suppose I could talk about how much worse it is now going to get. I suppose that I could get ready for the most bleak outcome: increased unemployment, higher taxes, less pay, fewer donations to Credo House, waiting in line for health care, homosexual marriage, increased toleration for the death of the unborn, increased intoleration for Christianity, and a thousand other things. But this would lack perspective. Whether it is Obama or Romney, I pause and take account of this fact: I live in the most secure, free, and moral country that has probably ever existed. And we are a long way from giving up this title. Are we heading toward a "fall"? Maybe, but we are still a long way from the cliff. In fact, it is not even in sight yet.
But let us say for the sake of argument that Obama is the iconic president who will lead the charge off the cliff. Let us say that America is heading for disaster. Let us say that in ten years our teeth will be on edge due to the sour grapes that Obama is handing out. Let us say that Obama will be the cause for an imminent loss of security, freedom, and morality. What then? If we knew this without a doubt, what then? Is it then time to despair? Is it then time for us to rent our cloaks, shave our heads, and go into mourning? How could it be?
My favorite theologian and philosopher, Bono, once said in a song about Christ's death, "I held the scabbard when the soldier drew his sword. I threw the dice and they pierced his side. But I have seen love conquer the great divide" ("When Love Comes to Town"). The worst event in the history of the world is when we hung our Creator on a tree and let him die. We all went to the polling booth and said, "We will not have this man to rule over us." We voted against the very incarnation of goodness, righteousness, and truth. We held the scabbard of the soldier's sword as he killed our savior. Yet, while this was the worst event in the history of humanity, it was also the best. While it was a day for the greatest mourning in the history of the world, it was also a day for the greatest rejoicing in the history of the world. While angels gawked at the arrogance of man, they gawked more at the love of God. God drew the sword on himself that day. He was in charge. I held the scabbard as the King of Kings was unelected from office. Yet God's plan was that through evil greatness might be revealed. Have we not learned? Do we stand in the crowd in front of the cross with hopeless despair or with great anticipation and excitement of what God is doing?
We all stand in front of the cross on election day, not knowing what God's plan is. Will righteousness be delivered or killed? Will evil triumph or be smothered? Will we begin to heal or continue to be beaten? Who knows? But what we don't have the right to do is keep from rejoicing in anticipation that our Father is going about his business and he has something in mind.
Obama has been reelected. Please don't come down too hard on me as I rejoice. Me and my kids got down on our knees tonight and prayed that Romney would win. He did not. Yet, in a very real way, I am excited. No, I don't agree with Obama, his policies, his plans, or his dreams. Yet I have this really awesome Father who does incredible things like kill his own Son. I have this Father who knows what he is doing and is in complete control. I have this Father who elected Barack Obama as his man and you are not going to believe what comes next. Yes, it looks bad. Yes, there are a lot of people in this crowd crying. Yes, they are without hope. But let me tell you about the way he works. It is too cool.
I am in the crowd tonight listening. Dashed dreams and hopelessness are topics of conversation. But I can't join in. I know the Guy in charge of all this. And because I know his M.O., I will hold the scabbard with great anticipation and joy. God's will has been done tonight and I can't wait to see what he does next. Don't fault me for rejoicing in the unexpected and unwanted. I can't help it. This is Christianity 101.
"Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people." –Titus 3:1-2
Pray for my president that God elected tonight. I commit to loving and encouraging him. I will speak no ill-will of him. He is the man God elected and my arms are laid down. There is no authority except from God and who am I not to hold the scabbard of God's mission?