Let’s be honest. This election season has sucked the life out of America. Growing up, I loved the months leading up to a presidential election. Watching people find the candidates they believed in, sharing why they believed in them so much and attempting to spread their ideas of why others should vote for them intrigued me. I’ve lived through the Reagan years, George Bush Sr. years, Bill Clinton years and George W’s years and most recently Obama. I watched America change through it all. I’m thirty-five and can’t remember a time that America has seemed so divided.
Looking back over the past several months, I’m blown away, however, that this is who we as a country have settled to be. A country that put a man on the moon and believed in Martin Luther King Jr’s dream. I know there are some major improvements needed in regards to racial tension, but I for one grew up believing in his dream. Reading posts from friends on social media, watching the news coverage, listening to people mourn their loss. I’m taken aback by their emotions, opinions, and sense of loss. I get it, though. This happens any time we put our hope, trust, and sense of purpose in a person or political party.
I’m not in shock of the results that Trump won. I am shocked at the sense of hopelessness. I think we have become so consumed with media. Do we really need twenty-four hours of media coverage? How many times can we watch the same thing? How many angles do we really need? I think we’ve lost our sense of boundaries and the ability to think for ourselves. What if we took the same amount of energy, time and resources and put them into something that matters? I believe in an America that can withstand any political party. I believe in a people that can use their energies and efforts to bring humanity back to being human. I believe we can be a group of people that can solve problems that kill other humans like a disease, lack of clean water and food.
I love my right to vote. I don’t believe it’s a God-given right, though. If it were, then when God set up a society with the Israelites, He would have set up voting booths. What God has set as a standard though is to love Him and love your neighbor as yourself. Are you loving your neighbors on social media? It is possible to have a disagreement with a person and still love that person? I don’t know if most of America still holds that ability, however.
There are a ton of issues we are facing. I love social media for the cat videos, the epic race between the tortoise and the hare was finally solved on social media. Who doesn’t enjoy a funny meme or video every now and then? Watching the social media feeds these past few weeks has been sickening to me. I’ve kept my personal political view private for the most part. I cast my vote for people and platforms I believe in. I’ve kept my political views off social media for one reason. I’d rather build bridges than burn them down.
I’m hopeful in Americans, not because we’re Americans but because all humanity was made in God’s image. God didn’t make mistakes, but we live in a fallen world due to sin. That issue was solved with the loving sacrifice of Jesus. If we accept His gift of salvation, we can step into a life that God created us to live. With the help of the Holy Spirit, we can live out His image and purpose.
Remember everything we have accomplished together! We are part of the best thing in God’s universe. We are made in His image. He set systems in place and let us govern and bring order to what He created. He wants to us to bring order to ourselves. He wants to solve problems.
If we can put a man on the moon and if two noncollege graduates can beat a team of highly educated people to invent the airplane, we can accomplish much together. If we can figure out the technology to put images on my smartphone and give computer technology to the ‘everyday’ guy instead of just the government or big business, we can accomplish much together. If we can watch the Chicago Cubs win the World Series after 108 years, imagine what we can accomplish together!
I’m hopeful that if we can accomplish all the above and everything done so far in human history, we can figure out some of the problems we now face. We can figure out how to keep families together and simplify our immigration system. I’m hopeful we can solve health care issues. I’m hopeful we can figure out the two drastic ends of the spectrum where we have obese Americans while people around the world are dying due to the lack of food. I’m hopeful we’ll be able to figure out ways to provide energy for our technology needs without jeopardizing our kids future or relying on other countries. I’m hopeful we’ll figure out a fair tax system that provides revenue for our government and yet government representatives will steward the money well and stay within a budget.
Above all, I’m hopeful that we as humans will realize that our relationships with each other are more important than the election decision. I don’t care if you’re on the winning side or the losing side or if you’re like me and you’re hopeful that we’ll have a legitimate third party for a long term solution. There are people in your lives that aren’t ok with the election results but don’t burn that bridge by getting caught up in political debate. Pray for them, love them and be humane to them. Treat them the way you’d want them to treat you if the roles were reversed. Take twenty seconds of insane courage and offer hope to them in a meaningful manner!
I’m hopeful that we’ll be able to not live so much in the moment on social media and engage in the reality around us. Please think before you post anything on social media. Don’t brag. Don’t lash out. Don’t be an idiot! Those posts will stay with you longer than you’d think. Take a few minutes and breathe. Have someone you trust and that has your best interest in mind read the post before you actually post it.
I trust that America will be great again. We’ll be better, not because of a political leader, but because, we as Americans. I trust that we will realize that we are all human and we’ll bring humanity back to being human. We are more than two parties and more than any label whether you are educated, uneducated, documented or undocumented. We are humans made in the image of a loving God who pursues us and wants nothing more than to be in a genuine relationship with us. He has wired each of us with amazing gifts and abilities. Why not use our gifts to solve problems and bring things into order?