It is the day before the 2012 election that will be taking place in the United States of America and I am not sure where to begin. So many thoughts swirling about in my mind. I have spent many hours reading articles, listening to speeches, watching news stories unfold as they happened around the world. Much of that information has left me disappointed, frustrated and at times angry with the direction our country is moving. I heard someone say today that after tomorrow the America we remember as a child will never be that America again. And I do believe that to be true no matter the outcome.
Growing up I heard sayings like “It’s as American as apple pie.” and “America is baseball, hot dogs and Chevrolet!” As a kid I believed America was about The Pledge of Allegiance, Stars & Stripes, Star Bangled Banner & fireworks, Pilgrims and Indians, White Christmases & Jesus in the manger. It was hot summer days eating bologna sandwiches, swimming in the neighbor’s pool and warm evenings chasing lightning bugs in the front yard. Politics? Don’t think I ever really knew much about that except occasional overheard conversations. I do remember watching Nixon give his resignation speech on television but don’t remember what my thought was about it. The symbol of politics for me was the image of Uncle Sam with a tall hat and extra long stilt-like legs. I remember seeing elephants and donkeys but not understanding what they meant.
As a teenager, it became something a little different. I remember my parents taking me to a Jimmy Carter campaign rally. I did not much like it nor do I remember why. I became a little more aware of the role of our president and what his job was but really did not pay too much attention to it all. It was over my head. The most I recall is the media making the public aware of the antics of the president’s brother, Billy, who drank a lot. President Carter had a Georgia accent which was kind of distracting when he spoke.
Then came Ronald Reagan. I knew he was an actor but did not know much about him then. I liked him and thought he was genuine. I liked that he did not back down and he had a sense of humor. I paid more attention to him though I still was not into all that. From my high school years to early adulthood I was pretty much focused on me, myself and I. There were a few years in there where I did not watch much television other than the current sitcoms or read many newspapers. I was not informed nor did I care at the time. I had opinions perhaps some were passed down from the previous generation but for the most part they often were formulated by the current music and film culture. I am sad to admit that.
It really was not until I joined the Air Force that I began to take notice of the events taking place in our nation and the world. I began to understand the bigger picture in regards to the United States and where it stood on the world stage. My first assignment took me to Europe. And it was there I got to see my country from another perspective. There was a growing patriotism rising up within me. I saw history up close and personal. For the first time in my life, at the young age of 23, I not only appreciated the fact that I was American but I experienced what being American meant.
Over the years since then I have become passionate about our country and its history. Probably too passionate as some would say. Age and experience have given me a better perspective on world around me. Christianity and motherhood have a part in that as well.
November 6, 2012
Today is election day! Finally it is here. I have had a quiet soul this morning coming to work. So different from several weeks ago. I was anxious about all the back and forth, up and down the crazy, horrible division that has come with it. Our pastor said something that changed that for me. ”No matter who is elected President, God still wins!” How profound that is. It sort of yanked me back to earth so to speak. Since that time I have searched my heart and realized whatever way it goes it is all in His plan. America is changing and will continue to change. Changes coming from all directions and mostly not for the good. But what will not change is a Holy God who has it all in His hand. By His providence we, the United States of America, began from a small group of folks looking for freedom of worship. Freedom to study His Word and live it out in their lives.
America was great, because God was great to America. He is no longer great to many and is no longer known by many. God blessed us because we, as a nation, stood on the principles of His Word. Change has taken us far from our roots, it began many, many years ago. Sometime after WWII we took God out of our schools and out of our government. Men twisted the words of our founding fathers and hid them away from the generations. Truth is gone in many textbooks and replaced with lies. Holiness is gone from our churches and replaced with feelings. What was good is now bad and what was bad is now good.
I have often wondered how things have gotten so mixed up and ludicrous. I sometimes wish I could shout truth from a mountain top or tall building. I want to scream, “STOP!!” I shake my head and am right back where I started with a question. ”What can I do?” I recently listened to an audio book called Holiness by Henry Blackaby and my heart fell under conviction. So heavy and yet so needed. My heart has wanted to see God move, wanted to see revival. And I wanted my family to experience God as well. I wanted them to witness His power!
To witness His power and be in His presence is one of the most amazing things I have ever experienced. There are no words to describe it. It only happens when we pursue holiness. I have done that before. I have experienced it. I have no excuse for not being there now. Life happened and I let it. But I yearn for it again. I so want the Lord Jesus to fall fresh on me, on my family and those that are in my life. Being in the presence of God moves your heart to share the love of God with those around you. It just spills out. You can not stop it and you can not control it. It is truly God’s Holy Spirit controlling you. People see God through you for that is the only way they will see.
It begins in my repented heart. When holiness is pursued my heart will change and there will be fruit. It will then effect change to those around me, my family. The change in my family will affect change in my church. The change in my church will affect change in my community. I want to see that!
When I arrived at work this morning my devotional calendar for November 6 said
‘God’s purpose for us is holiness, His own holiness, which we are to share.’
And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.
1 John 3:3
When you ask God for wisdom, He gives it in sometimes not so subtle ways. He waits but not forever. He waits so that no man will perish. Regardless of the outcome of the election God will still be on the throne, the world will continue to turn and we will still be left wanting. The only true way to change our country is to make a change in our hearts. A change of direction, turning away from sin and toward the one who forgives our sin.
Change comes from one person. Just one person standing up for what is right. For that matter, kneeling down for what is lost.
Grace to you,