“Power resides only where men believe it resides. A shadow on the wall, yet shadows can kill. And ofttimes a very small man can cast a very large shadow.”
George R. R. Martin (A Clash of Kings)
It was 2016. America was at a crossroads. She knew she could not return to her former life. Freedom was such a hard fought for right. But a radical few with lots of money bought positions of power and took America’s freedom away. Some with charismatic personalities swayed the masses with their promises to “Make America Great” again. These people, with their experience in business and making money sought to buy the hearts of the American people…and it worked.
People were so fickle, they couldn’t make up their minds as to whether they wanted good people to lead them or successful people to lead them. Not that good and successful can’t be found in the same person, but it seems that the lines became blurred for many. No one knew right or wrong anymore. People just believed what the liars said on television.
Television and information transfer became propaganda machines that stole away people’s freedom’s while they say lazily on their couch watching the latest episodes of the zombie apocalypse while the real apocalypse was happening all around them. They didn’t want to know about the truth, they just wanted to make sure their bank accounts had plenty of money in them.
When the financial meltdown hit, it was tragic. No president could save them. No preacher could tell them anything good enough to change things. No professor could teach them enough to create the new future.
America misplaced her trust.
America misplaced her trust.
Create Something Better
It is my contention here at soulstuck.com that we exist on this planet to create something better. We have been given so many tools, so many freedoms, so many resources, and so much possession that we have to do something other than squander our opportunities.
I’m not a big fan of political contests. As far as our leadership goes, in our cities, our towns, our states, and our nation…I am probably more jaded than I should be.
I believe we need to vote, but it is becoming painfully obvious in a world where money, fame, celebrity, and power are the highest values (and believe me, they are the highest of values in America) the impact of a voting bloc, while significant, isn’t going to change the reality of the mess we’re in.
Today, I want to offer a way forward in the midst of what may seem like the apocalypse that is ELECTION 2016. Perhaps we can create something better together if we simply stop sticking our heads in the sand.
- Vote your conscience, not your fear. Too many people are going to vote for one candidate over another because they are afraid of the other winning and making things worse. But this is choosing out of fear. You vote for the person who you think could best run the country. If neither of the top two candidates end up being the best person to run the country, then vote for a third party candidate. Too many times we have voted out of fear and not our conscience and so, we end up feeling like we need to be strategic in our vote. Get behind someone who holds your values and your expectation of character. Vote the good man or woman in before the successful one. And then sleep easy knowing you voted out of confidence and conscience, not out of fear.
- Stop putting all your hope in your President, your Pastor, or your Professor. I talk to people every week who are more concerned with what people in leadership think of them than actually going out and creating something better with their lives. We can listen to our leaders, and we have a mandate from Scripture to follow the leaders God puts over us… but we have the freedom in this nation to do something of value with our own lives. Our president doesn’t live next to our next door neighbor, neither does your pastor, or the one who teaches you. Learn to connect with God by serving people. Then you’ll find your hope lies, not in a political establishment, a religious institution, or an educational institution. You’ll find it lies in relationship and community with God and His people.
- Don’t be so shocked at the state of things. Of course it’s bad out there. What were you expecting? A political savior? A religious messiah? A life of ease with no distractions or anxieties? Don’t huddle around in pity parties feeling sorry for yourself when your candidate doesn’t end up in the White House or when your pastor turns out to be only human. What those clowns do in Washington will effect us all, there is no doubt. The people who educate us will be accountable for our rise or our fall as a people, but we have the end decision on our own morality.
Money and Power
We don’t have to sit around and wait until we get a new leader to go out and start loving our neighbor, serving the poor, digging into the lives of the people around us who need it the most.
- Money and power never fed a homeless child.
- Money and power never visited a sick man in the hospital.
- Money and power never shared the gospel with your best friend.
- Money and power never read the Bible together with your workmates.
- Money and power never rescued a woman from the slave trade.
- Money and power never did anything of value.
These are tools, often misused, but tools nonetheless. When good people wield them, good happens. When evil people wield them, watch out.
I don’t know if much of what I shared was very profound today. I think we are in a mess. Our hope is misplaced. Our people are confused. And nobody is willing to say that we don’t have it all figured out. Humility is largely absent among most of our leaders. And when someone humble comes along, we don’t know how to take them. We live in an environment that breeds so much distrust, that even when someone who is trustworthy comes in to offer their two cents, we immediately crucify them.
Hmm. That sounds like something the world has done before.
Our only hope lies in the crucified and risen messiah named Jesus. Stop looking for other messiah’s.
There aren’t any.