Our latest American election cycle is one that will certainly make history. Regardless of where your sympathies or your vote lay, emotions were high and anger was heated. I found myself intermittently stuck between seeking to prove that my opinion was the right one and trying to be a peacekeeper between friends, family, and perfect strangers that I ran into at my barbershop, or the milk isle at Kroger (I guess people just like to talk to me sometimes).
In all of this, many of us felt lost and confused. For so long, we knew that voting for a certain party meant that we were correctly aligning our morals at the polls in the way that we did at church, but this election proved to many of us that politics are no longer rooted in morality. Maybe they never were. What an idea.
Now as we stand amidst countrymen who are either overjoyed, saddened, or indifferent, the words, “give Caesar what is Caesar’s,” ring loud and clear in our minds or are splashed across Facebook statuses and hastily-made t-shirts. Now where do we go whether we’ve won or lost? The sun will still rise and Death Cab for Cutie will still be the perfect band for a rainy day, but what will happen if all goes well or if all hell breaks loose?
We must remember that God is not the God of, “I told you so.” The way forward for our country is not the Way. Republican, Democrat, Independent, Ex-patriot British Nationalist…none of these labels are followed by perfect descriptions, because ideology is not an easy-bake oven.
In the coming days, there will be many opportunities for anyone to say that their way is the right way. My challenge to all of us is to remember that we are called to something greater than what is around us. Our mortal citizenship may be to this country, but our eternal citizenship is to a different Kingdom.
Regardless of your religious, social, or political views, I wager that you can agree on one thing. Success in society is hampered by a build-up of bitterness. This is what happens when we spend our time either waiting on others to fail or putting everything we have into proving we were right all along. This is the result of saying, “I told you so,” and this is not who God calls us to be.
As it says in Isaiah 32:17, “The effect of righteousness will be peace, and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust forever.” The answer is righteousness, not “rightness.” Some days, righteousness will seem impossible to attain, but we know that where there is a desire for new life, God will make a way.