In case you live under a rock, Barack Obama was reelected tonight. Was it because I voted for him? No. Definitely not. It just so happened that the guy I was rooting for won. I can’t say I was right. I can’t say, “I told you so.” All I can say is that I am hoping and praying he’s the right man for the job.
But what if Romney had won? How would I have responded?
Moments after Obama passed the 270 mark, which is the minimum number of electoral votes to guarantee a victory, I checked Facebook. I hadn’t been on all day since I knew many people would be passionate about Election Day and say some mean things that, come tomorrow afternoon, they’d probably regret. I know this because I have done this. It didn’t take me long to see many posts complaining about Obama’s reelection.
My first thought was, “Get off your high horse. You could never do better, either.” But something bugged me about responding like this. It certainly wasn’t Christ-like, let alone good sportsmanship. I know for a fact that if Romney had won, I probably would have made a similar-sounding post. So the next question is, how should knowing this – knowing that I’d be no different if Romney had won – change how I act in light of Obama’s victory?
First and foremost, I must acknowledge that no matter how great any politician is, he/she is no Jesus. Never will be. It might sound strange to point this out, but time after time throughout this election chaos I’ve come across person after person treating their candidate as if he was going to right all the world’s wrongs. And at the same time, they lambasted the opposing candidate(s) as if he was the anti-Christ. What bugged me the most was how I started to do the same.
After emphasizing that no one will truly fix all our problems, I must pray for the nation. I haven’t really done much of this because it sometimes feels awkward – as if I’m trying to get God to bless America rather than any other country. But I find it essential. No matter who is in office, mistakes will be made. And these mistakes will have an effect on someone somewhere in the country. Praying for the nation – more specifically, the nation’s leaders – means asking for God to step in where we fall short. In fact, it means asking God to take total control even if we don’t fall short.
Finally, I find it highly beneficial to consider God’s perspective. He knows that not everyone in this nation believes in Him or loves Him. So He knows that this isn’t an entirely Christian nation – if ever such a thing truly existed. He knows that His kingdom does not walk hand-in-hand with America. And unlike us, He also knows what’s around the corner.
Seeing things as God would have us see them tends to bring unity because it focuses on elements of life beyond politics, beyond being “right,” and even beyond our American lens. That whole process, being a member of God’s unified body, begins only when I recognize that although Obama was the guy I voted for, he’s not going to advance God’s kingdom. I’d hope that he does, but I’m not going to hold my breath.
Instead, I’m going to continue on doing what I believe God has called me to do: work. No, not working for a job, a career, or money; working for Him and His kingdom. That sort of work demands an ability to cross political boundaries, to listen to someone else’s opinion before I give my own, and to admit that I do not know what it takes to run this country. I’m not the President. And I don’t think I will be.
May we all find the strength, courage, and humility to move forward regardless of who is in the Oval Office.