So, if you know me and my family, you know that last night was a sobering one in our home. Yes, we were hoping (although without a lot of hope at that point) for a McCain victory. Obama seems like a decent man, but I question the direction he wants to go with the country. It seems to lean too much toward "Your country is going to take care of you," which creates weakness, dependency and division, rather than "Your country is going to enable you to take care of yourself and your fellow man," which creates strength, integrity and unity.
In any case, our man lost. But last night was not a night of mourning for Keith and I as much as it was a night devoted to intense parenting.
You see, the girls, like most children, were rooting for their parents' team. They wanted McCain to win, too. They don't really understand the issues (although, I'm pleased to see how much more Leslie is coming to understand them all the time), but Mom and Dad are Republicans, so, so are they. And this loss was depressing for them.
"It's not fair!" we kept hearing. (Parents, how many times do we hear those words?) We found ourselves repeating our time-worn mantra, "Yes, it is fair (at least, as far as we know right now). Just because it's not what we want, doesn't mean it's not fair.
"McCain deserves to be President!" McCain deserves our respect and gratitude for his service to our country, but nobody simply gets this office because they deserve it -- they are chosen by the people.
"This Electoral College system is stupid!" Hmm. Well, I couldn't argue that one very well.
But one of the biggest things I kept trying to point out to them is that, although Dad and I think a lot about these things, and we have very good reasons for why we think the country should be run the way we do, it is entirely possible that we are completely wrong. We must always approach these situations with confidence in our positions (if they are well-thought-out and well-informed) but with humility based on our limitations. We think McCain would have been a better President than Obama. But we don't really know.
I was reminded this morning--while doing my devotions looking out my bedroom window on the beautiful valley behind our house and the neighbors' American flag waving in the center of my view--of the scriptures that talk about how the kings and rulers of this world are like ants to God Almighty, the true King.
There's a poem I used to teach called "Ozymandias" (I believe -- don't crucify me if I'm mistaken about the title) that talked about the ruins of an ancient monument. At its base, the ancient ruler had encouraged all to look about them at the greatness of his empire and his achievements -- and the modern observer saw nothing but empty sand and desert. In the wide scheme of things, Barack Obama is a modern Ozymandias, a blip on the radar. He can do no more good or no more harm than God allows him to. And whatever achievements he has, whatever "change" he succeeds in bringing about, will only last as long as God sustains it. God is the one we look to for hope and protection and "change we can believe in".
But I encourage all of us to pray for our new leadership, that they will allow themselves to be willing instruments in the hands of God, the true Sustainer.