With every election and new president it seems like there comes a wave of hysteria and predictions of the end of America, and humanities imminent demise. But this time around it does seem that things are a little different – more intense, more scary. It seems like some people are truly frightened and disturbed, and they are responding with an anger that borders on rage. Anger is fine – you can work with it – but rage is a dangerous, out of control state, that can turn perfectly rational people into monsters.
When a person feels out of control and helpless, that creates fear. And what’s a common response to fear? Anger. Because anger helps you feel back in control. But what’s a Christians response to fear? We turn to Jesus – because we know the point isn’t for us to feel in control, but for us to feel Him in control.
What happens when a nation feels out of control and helpless? Bad things – historically anyway. That’s a time when tyrants with pat answers can rise up and manipulate people’s fears to get them to do bad things – sometimes really bad things.
If you’re angry at the person driving this bus you have to remember, you live in a democracy – whether you like it or not, your country hired him. If we’re not happy about the way this president drives the bus, in four years we can fire him. And if he is driving recklessly and breaking the law – we can fire him on the spot. It’s a process called impeachment that helps maintain the balance of power. But we have to agree on these things, we have to trust one another and work together. It seems like people are not trusting the process, or each other, to do the right thing any more.
We really need to try and put the past behind us and give the man a chance. When he looks at the job he has been hired to do he’s got to be feeling overwhelmed and hopelessly inadequate. The only way he’s going to make it is if he calls out to God for help. And maybe he is. I hope so. I hope the pressure and realization of the importance of the responsibilities of his office causes him to turn to God and ask God to help him to be the very best Donald that he can be. It’s possible. I’m hopeful that he does. And like a lot of you – I’m praying for that. But I’m not just praying that for him – I’m praying that for me too. I’m praying that God would make me the best Steve that I can be.
But if not, if President Trump responds to this challenge by floundering absurdly, then my response cannot be to throw rocks. Just as he has a role to play – I have a role to play too. If he ends up playing his role badly, that is no excuse for me to play mine badly too. I need to respect the office of the president, even if I don’t respect the person in it, and I have to work with the processes we have in place to make the changes I see circumstances require. He’s the driver, I’m the passenger – but I’m also his boss. If he’s driving badly then my response should not be to shout at him or try and grab the wheel out of his hands. I have to accept my responsibility and understand how powerful I am in this situation, and I need to give him calm, firm directions. If he won’t listen to us then we go and get a driver who will. It’s really that simple.
We are blessed and lucky to live in a democracy. How many thousands and thousands of men and women have risked their lives, and even died to protect it? We can certainly step up and do our part, and play our roles properly. The world is not as simple as it once was. We need to be more mature in how we handle these weighty worldly matters. We need to be calmer and more respectful of each other. As Christians we need to set the example of this. We need to be peace in the storm, confident in where we are headed, and loving towards our enemies. That’s how we demonstrate to the world who Jesus is. And that’s how we get this bus heading in the right direction.