“…we have never had an atheist President of the United States. Could it be that the people would be unwilling to put their trust in someone who did not feel accountable to a higher power?” (God and Science.org)
Well, that whole ‘kaleidoscope’ effect I mentioned in my previous post continues. My mind is shifting & swirling as I attempt to co-ordinate facts, descriptions, and theories, as well as consider the viability of opinions. Right on the heels of reading (highlighting, re-reading & formulating a plan! for my next post, i.e.,this one) the 14-page transcript of this past Sunday’s “Meet the Press”, I allowed myself to be led down the paths presented by the near-destruction of Flight 253 on Christmas Day. Which means, one article leading to another leading to another, on terrorist networks, individuals, strategies & counter-strategies, and then found myself back at the Guantanamo debacle. And yes, there’s more! but let me not get into all that right now…while not exactly exploding, my head is full! I never attended college, but I imagine this is how college students often feel…
I have found that, in my explorations of current events, especially as relates to Middle East conflicts, probably too much of my focus tends to life & death-type, weighty scenarios & realities, to the detriment of just Life, as in Christ. Though He is the reason, and the power within & behind, what I attempt here, I forget – not Him but the rest that is in Him. I know that I am doing what I’m supposed to be doing, with ‘God, History and You’, but perhaps at this juncture, I and my posts need a touch of the Word of God.
When asked what the mood of the country, politically, is at this time, Governor of Massachusetts Deval Patrick replied, “Sour and angry…” NBC’s chief foreign affairs correspondent Andrea
Mitchell agreed, identifying an “angry subtext” to the spirit of America that she finds “very, very worrisome”. Ms. Mitchell described this anger as not being ‘fact-based’ but rather an “angry populism which is…furious at everybody”. She points to economic collapse as the root cause of this anger.
Governor Patrick sees it pretty much the same way.
Adding his insight to the mix, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich presents a different slant. The initial ‘transparency’ campaign rhetoric, which seemed as almost euphoria to many , built us up to let us down – expectations of openness were instead met with “…secret deals, ramming through stimulus…in a secret way, basically bribing senators…” Gingrich sees this betrayal of a promise, this misuse of power as cause for much of the sour mood settling across America.
Now, what I’m thinking goes something like this – with whom are Americans really angry? A global economic crash? How does one pinpoint anger at a worldwide event? Our President, for not remaining true, or our Congress members? Well, that’s more feasible, but God gave us a warning way back in time that holds a clue to this anger, I think. Few there be that heed it – “Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help” (Psalm 146:3, KJV). Or, to put it a different (and by different, I mean, the same!) way – “It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in princes.” (Psalm 118: 8,9, KJV)
Our human nature wants to feel secure, and we naturally feel more secure when we can see, hear and/or handle that which supposedly is helping & protecting us. You know, like the apostle Thomas needed to see the wounds of the risen Christ before he could believe…but everybody knows that “…blessed are they that have not seen and yet have believed.” (John 20:29, KJV)
‘Man’ and ‘princes’ represent people and government/agencies. It isn’t that help will not come through them, it very well may…but our trust would be much more wisely & safely placed in God. ‘Man’ and ‘princes’ are fallible and prone to err. One way or another, they/we misstep, misjudge, become greedy, power hungry, you name it, the list goes on…how can we fully trust anything/anyone like this? Scripture aside, common sense dictates that we not!
It’s a tricky mix though, a balancing act, because the United States of America is a “We, the people” kind of government, as indeed it should be. Still, having put all our eggs in the ‘economy’ basket, or the “Yes, we can!” basket has left so many of us…angry. Bitter. Scared?
We trusted the wrong thing.
So perhaps a good starting point, internally, for at least some of us in this New Year of 2010 would be to re-focus on how & where we place our trust. Everything else doesn’t have to grind to a halt; obviously, that would not work! Doing nothing isn’t my point…but more is required for certain kinds of success than the activities of men & princes, than meetings of Congress & Presidential decisions, government programs & stimulus packages. As aforementioned, it is not that good will never come through such actions, it very well may and, in times both past and present, surely has & will again. But to count on them alone, to put your trust in them alone, is foolhardy. The mercy of our God is what saves us, and an inner re-set of where we first look for help may be what saves the spirit of America.