This afternoon as we drove to tumbling, Autumn asked me if I knew who had won the election.
“Obama, sweetie,” I replied, wondering where this was going. With the kids in a Christian school, they have been subjected, however innocently, to the opinions of buddies who have formed opinions that have shuffled inexorably down from the ranks of their parents, their teachers, who might make a certain expression when a certain name is mentioned, and by any other means you might imagine. Lawson was a firm “RockObama” fan until he came home one day and told me not to vote for him…that he would just “change everything…change the world!” (a very bad thing for a six year old).
And to be fair, I’m sure their opinions would probably have been as equally shaped, with an election season as polarized as this one, in a public school.
Her question answered, Autumn’s response was to growl and beat her fists on the seat back in front of her. I glanced mildly back in the rearview mirror. “It is what it is,” I said, for what felt like the five hundredth time that day. “He is now our president-elect, which means he will be our president shortly, and that means that we owe him respect above all things.”
She looked at me in confusion. After all, hadn’t I said I was voting for McCain? Didn’t that mean I was upset that Obama had won the election?
“The Bible tells us that we are to be obedient to our political leaders,” I explained. “No matter who they are. God put him in place for a reason, and we just have to trust in that.”
“Oh. That’s what GrandDaddy said!” Oh, how exciting to be on par with GrandDaddy’s wisdom.
This, friends, was a conversation that deeply disturbed me. Here was my own nine year old child, ready to show her growling, negative, mopey face to the world as testimony of her disappointment in the way things turned out on Election Day. She doesn’t even understand the issues. She doesn’t understand that her parents stood for McCain based more on what he didn’t stand for than for anything he really did…that level of feisty, uninformed, emotional ignorance is what swayed the ticket. But that’s neither here nor now. What is Now is what we do with it. And honestly, that’s a relatively simple concept to grasp, just difficult to actually execute!
to pray for Obama and this country.
to give him the benefit of the doubt and assume his motives are good.
to not speak badly of Obama, even when we are not in agreement. (Ummm….how hard is that one going to be for how many of us?)
to not be cynical, and instead be positive about this entire situation.
I really think we owe it to the little eyes that are watching us so closely–so much more closely than we realize–to be examples in all of us. We are given Biblical instruction for how to proceed. We need to hold up the Word and not grumble, not be cynical, but just accept and trust that God’s plan is in here somewhere, even though it is (as usual!) difficult for our all too human vision to discern.
How difficult at times to set aside that partisan hat and be, not a Republican or a Democrat, but simply an American, one who supports that man in the office of president no matter the choices he makes. I think Michael Hyatt stated it best in his blog when he made his four commitments to Obama, starting now. They were