My adventure yesterday felt like a misadventure. Actually, by the time I got to Fort Worth last night, I was really sick. Sometimes you don’t have a choice but to keep on keeping on even if you’d prefer to pull off the road and stop. It was probably a stomach bug, 24-hour virus, psychosomatic reaction to life events or none of the above, but I was really sick.
Interestingly, immediately before I left Austin yesterday afternoon headed to Ft. Worth, I was at the doctor’s office for a follow-up visit. When asked how I was feeling, I replied, “I’m doing great!” I didn’t mention the headache or feeling of nausea. He wasn’t that kind of doctor. Besides, those things could have been associated to the knowledge that I’d be making my way back north through the drizzle in Austin traffic.
By the time I was as far along as Waco, I had significant misgivings about going forward, but it was as farther back home than it was ahead, so I continued forward. The intermittent episodes of nausea were concerning and rightfully so. I know, I promised to be vague in sharing the details, so I’ll honor that commitment.
Fortunately, I made it to my hotel room in the nick of time. As the evening quickly unfolded, I remembered something I’d said about casting my ballot in Tuesday’s election. I said I’d make my selection and go outside and be sick. At the risk of sounding like a basement person (okay, I have the wherewithal and propensity to focus on the negatives), I didn’t vote for any candidate, I voted against the candidate that I thought represented the greatest threat.
In 1972 when I voted for George McGovern (I still think I was right), I was passionate with the belief that he was the person to move the country forward. In this year’s election, passionate support for the candidate I selected wasn’t even a consideration. I cast my ballot out of fear. Truthfully, I feared both choices. “Terrified” would have be descriptive of my reaction to the news that either candidate won.
We are in the midst of humpty-dumpty like brokenness. All the king’s horses and all the king’s men couldn’t put humpty-dumpty back together again. Fortunately our future isn’t dependent on whoever occupies the Whitehouse. The brokenness of our political system is simply a symptom of misplaced priorities that oftentimes expresses itself in greed, corruption and a quest for power.
In his book World Aflame, written by Billy Graham over fifty years ago, he said: “Our world is on fire and man without God will never be able to control the flames.” Our primary problems aren’t political. Our primary problems are spiritual. Our search for self-fulfillment in a world turned upside down always rotates and is absorbed by self-interests rather than what supports the greater good of family or those with whom we share life whenever we leave God and his purposes out of the equation.
In yesterday’s blog, I made reference to balcony people and basement people. Balcony people cheer you on and offer words of encouragement and support. Basement people drain the life out of you.
One reader responded: “I absolutely agree with the ‘Balcony People and Basement People’ analogy. I may differ from your opinion on this next observation, but I also believe that the same person(s) can move between basement and balcony over the course of time, sometimes they will even vacillate between the two”.
I couldn’t agree more. All of us have the capacity to hang out in the basement and focus on negativity and disdain for circumstance and the brokenness we see around us. But how do we move beyond that?
I think the most proactive approach is the realization that we have a sovereign God who is not defeated by the symptomology of our brokenness. It was never his intent that we figure out a way to solve our problems without him.
I like the promise associated to 2 Chronicles 7:14: If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
I don’t like the view of life from the basement. I’d much prefer to enjoy the view from the balcony. In fact, when I checked into my hotel last night, I asked for a room with a view. I’m on the 13th floor with a view of the city. I’m in a better place this morning that I was last night. Truthfully, when our focus in on God and his purposes, we all are in a better place. He has the ability to make all things new.
All My Best!