President Obama is re-elected, and I’m kicking myself for caring.
A 51% – 49% chasm divides America. It’s a canyon politics cannot span. I knew this of course but I deluded myself into imagining that an election might heal us, that we humans might yet right our own course. The cold truth: no election fixes things; our problems are too ominous for that. We are – I am – dealing with a chronic terminal disease and taking two aspirin and calling the doctor won’t work when we need a heart transplant.
I confess, I yielded to the seduction of a political salvation. I vested time and energy watching polls, fixating on debates, calculating complicated electoral scenarios, as if any of it really matters. And of course my heart followed this wayward investment. As Jesus warned me, “where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” This morning I find my heart anchored to a faulty, crumbled foundation. I invested in what “moths and rust… destroy and… what thieves… steal.” I could have, I should have spent all those hours praying, where real change happens!
Minnesota Viking’s fans bear a 14 year old mortal wound – the 1998 NFC championship game loss to the dreaded Atlanta Falcons.
My then eight year old daughter Elisabeth and I were attending a Sunday afternoon team meeting for a trip to an orphanage in Juarez, Mexico. Before the gathering we watched the last quarter of the game. To our horror, the Vikings blew the lead. We were ere stunned and sickened, some even cried. Personally, I felt like someone close to me had died.
Why? Why “grieve” over a football game? Because I’d put time an energy into it! My heart had followed my treasure. I’d given my passion to a fickle suitor.
Worse, the loss left me emotionally vacant. As we gathered we watched a video of students working in Juarez, battling entrenched poverty, caring for parentless children, sharing their lives and the love of Jesus. It was a powerful picture of a REAL battle for life and death. But… I didn’t care. I couldn’t feel anything! I was spent. I had vented my heart on that football game and had nothing left for what really counted.
Behold, my state this morning after. There’s a cost when I parcel out my treasures to things that don’t matter, or matter only a little. Where my treasure is, there my heart will be. Yesterday my treasure was too much in politics; today my heart is paying the price!
Now I need to adjust, I repent, and reallocate battered resources into a new investment strategy. Instead of politicking, I will pray.
“LORD God of heaven and earth. Not all things that happen are good. But you are good, and you promise to work all things for good for those who love you and are called to your purposes. In the wake of political confusion and division we turn to you in prayer. Unite us as a nation, a people behind a King, and a cause of justice and rightness. God we need you to turn hearts. Arguments and campaigns, debates and commercials do little. We need your gentle and righteous persuasion to repentance. In Jesus.”