When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice; but when the wicked rule, the people groan. (Proverbs 29:2)
I gave up posting and re-posting political items for Lent. I think that’s having a positive effect on my blood pressure. However, as I was debating what to write for this week’s post, the words of this blog nearly flew out of my pen onto the page of my journal. So, for better or worse, here goes:
What has become the United States began with people who got here by routes and ways known only to God and legend. They came and tamed many different regions to sustain their native ways of life. Some tended to the forests. Some grew crops. Some hunted. Some built mounds and others created homes in cliffs. From the very beginning this continent has been home to a great diversity of people.
Centuries later European explorers made their way across oceans to this land. Some came to escape the terrors back home. Some came seeking fame and fortune. Some learned to live in an uneasy peaceful co-existence with those who were already here. Others did not. Very early after the arrival of the first Europeans wars and atrocities broke out.
Some were captured and brought here under the most degrading circumstances to work as slaves, enabling others to prosper. Some came as indentured slaves working desperately to achieve economic freedom.
Over the years new ways took hold and the continent was transformed. Villages became towns, some of which grew into enormous cities. Railroads and later freeways crisscrossed the land from ocean to ocean. Airports developed to support millions of air travelers annually. Industries sprouted up where once only forests and plains existed.
Waves of new immigrants have consistently and persistently been arriving from the east, west, north and south – for centuries now. They come speaking dozens of different languages and bringing with them new foods, religions, and traditions.
Through it all, a great nation has emerged. Not a nation that is problem free; but one that manages to adjust and adapt through wars, economic upheavals, uprisings and protests over various issues. Perhaps our strength is our ability to adapt to the changing times and trends. We are still the destination of choice for millions of people trying to escape terror, persecution, and poverty. We’re still among the first to send aid and troops when other nations need help.
We’re still a nation that can accommodate great variety in ways people choose to worship God, or deny the existence of a Lord of the universe who has a stake in how humans treat one another.
And now it is time to elect the next leader who will wield influence and power. The President of the United States (POTUS) wields power beyond the imagination of even the most ambitious monarchs and dictators of previous times. We will soon choose someone whose policies and actions will shape the well being of millions – even billions – of people in every village and city in the world.
We are much divided about the qualifications the next POTUS should have. We are divided on what priorities and policies should be of most concern to the next POTUS.
Regardless of how divided we are, by the end of the current year we will know the name of the next President of the United States of America. May God guide us to select a person worthy and capable of the responsibility. May God guide us to select a person who will focus on the needs of us all – men and women, young and elderly, rich and desperately poor, healthy and in need of medical intervention, newly arrived and descendants of the native Americans and the first explorers.
May God inspire us to be responsible and mature in how we use the many benefits entrusted to us as residents of this diverse country. Vote like your life depends on the outcome. In many ways, it does.