It’s Election Day in America. And it’s about time! I will be thankful after today, if for nothing else, that I don’t have to listen to any more debates, any more ads, any more rhetoric about elections and “why I’m the best candidate.” During election season intelligence seems to give sway to emotionalism or perhaps disappears entirely! As much as I fear the candidates sometimes, I almost fear the electorate more! Oh, I know how important this election is, and I shudder to think today of all those who don’t know that, who don’t care enough to be informed and active in the voting process. I know what a wonderful freedom we have in voting, even if we don’t love the choices and even if we feel our voices are largely unheard. It cost a great deal for us to have that freedom! How sad when we take it lightly or for granted…
But that’s not why I’m inspired to write today. I’m thinking about change. It’s fall, which is a season of change. The shadows lengthen and the daylight lessens, the temperatures, although confused this year, are dropping slowly toward typical fall registers. Our calendars have only two pages left in 2012. Baseball is over and football is frustratingly present. Maybe most of all, nature shows us the change as the trees blaze in their best glory of the year, right before undressing for a long winter’s nap. We have all the seasons in Amarillo, sometimes in one day; but they do serve to remind us that change is a constant process. We fool ourselves if we think otherwise!
With election season, the topic of change has been in the media air as well. Funny how just about every candidate stands for “change”, or at least takes a turn riding that same old horse. The “change” candidate one year tends to be the “stay the course” candidate the next! And we gullible voters tend to buy into the idea; who could, for a minute, fail to affirm that a lot of things could not use some changing? At the same time, ironically, the sum of our public fears polls at about 50% that things will change and 50% that they won’t…. It’s a tough job being a politician when nobody seems to agree on what needs changing! What sane person would want a job where half of the people hate and detest your very guts? Still, in spite of the obvious contradictions, the promises of “hope and change”–although questionably lacking in their potential—strike a chord deep in our hearts and resonate there because these are two ideas deeply rooted in our souls. We humans have an incredible capacity to hope and, generally speaking, that hope is founded on the assumption that something will change, that something indeed can change.
So we find ourselves a little schizoid in this matter. We crave change and hope for change when things don’t suit us; then when other things around us begin to change we get bent out of shape because “nothing stays the same”. We’re pretty hard to please! I thank God though, in the midst of my confusion, for two truths:
(1) Through the power of Jesus Christ I can change; I’m not destined to wallow forever in my sinfulness. Transformation can actually occur as I submit to God’s redemptive work in and through me. The dragon that I am, the monster at the core of me, can indeed be slain, then shed. As the process continues, I become much less dragon-ish, and hopefully a lot more like Jesus, until that day comes when I will be made completely like Him.
(2) In the midst of all the things that change (and pretty much all things do and will)—there is one thing that won’t: God. Our God whose faithfulness is great and whose mercies are new every morning, our God who, in the words of Jesus’ brother James, is the author of “…every good and perfect gift… (He is) the Father of the heavenly lights who does not change like the shifting shadows.” It is no surprise that you find this true as well in our Lord Jesus who the writer of Hebrews paints as “the same—yesterday, today, and forever.”
Barring any hanging chads or confused Floridian voters, the great election of 2012 will soon be history. And regardless of the outcome, you can bet some things will change. But you can also be completely assured that even if you think the electorate may have lost their collective minds—God is still the one truly in charge. He is on the throne. His sovereignty is not stifled or hindered by human choices. And as He, the Unchanging One governs in the affairs of men, we His beloved children will always have a perfect Father who promises to watch over us, and even a perfect country to look forward to and long for. There won’t be any elections there…..