Obama 1: Just Live Hope
It’s hard to believe that the years of political maneuvering and campaigning are finally over and the inauguration is upon us. More than any other presidency in recent memory, the 2008 race between senators John McCain and Barack Obama captured the attention of millions of willing (or unwilling) citizens of not only these United States, but of the planet. Watching the drama unfold through every media outlet captivated us, the ambient presence of opinion polls, political pundits, talking heads, and attack ads constant noise behind our daily routine. We couldn’t escape it. This experience has challenged me on several levels and coming out of it, I know that I am about to step into many more. As an Adventist Christian, the religious overtones are almost cacophonous in nature – obvious and glaring. Do I, like some, believe President Obama is the Anti-Christ and that his election signals an avalanche speeding towards the end? The present time in general and this election specifically are awash in prophetic color, so any president could potentially be “The One”. Regardless of that, however, I fail to see the significance of a singular *person*. We know prophecy and we know that it is powers that will fuel upheaval. We also know that the time is short – the time is now. Many players who are, unfortunately, on the spot at this time will be under the glaring light of public scrutiny that may border (as it already has) on hysteria. With the world crumbling all around us, fear and uncertainty compels those without hope to point fingers – to look for a scapegoat, to cast the blame onto someone, anyone. This reality should compel us to look to the only source of stability – Jesus Christ. With our eyes focused on Him, we stand on solid ground, despite the quaking beneath our feet.
Watching everything, though, I couldn’t help but be captivated. I’m still entranced by the story of this amazing man and his beautiful family. I watched the news, read the blogs, stayed up on election night, updating my Facebook status and tracking the pulse of my universe of friends. If but for one moment, we could be in a vacuum of time and space, it would be my wish that we could all be hopeful. Not hopeful for a mere mortal to rescue us (for as a very wise friend said to me months ago, “He’s going to mess up. We’ve got to understand that we’re electing a man, not the Savior.”). Instead, hopeful that the very best that is in mankind will triumph, if only for a fleeting second. These ideals are lofty and likely unrealistic, but I feel very strongly that the same mandate that asks me to love my neighbor and to “seek peace and pursue it” also asks me to honor and respect my leaders. Knowing that you can’t please everyone all the time, it’s already obvious that this administration is going to see tumultuous times. But, for a second, I’m stepping back, and looking forward, somewhat naively and hopefully, at something that’s never happened before and thinking, “I’m glad I could be alive for such a time as this.”
(Photo Thanks to: Ryan)