In the last month, I have been surprised by two of the most unlikely events I have ever witnessed in my life. Of course, I have already written about the victory of the Chicago Cubs – their first World Series win in 108 years. I was privileged to attend one of the Chicago games with my brother, Doug, and we had a memorable time. We went in honor of our father and our story was not unique. Thousands of Cub fans across the country told stories of what the win meant to them – family histories of attending games and fathers or mothers leaving legacies to their children. It was very emotional for many fans.
And now, only several weeks after the victory of the Cubs, the country has elected Donald J. Trump as its President – setting off a firestorm of protest across this great land. The problem is that the founding fathers didn’t set up the country to operate that way. Unless you have been living under a rock for the last year, you already know that Trump can incite people, enrage them, debate them and generally arouse passions that people didn’t even know they had! But that’s where reasonable people would show restraint.
I can’t remember anything like it in my life. But to react in fear or violence is not taking the preferred road. I truly believe than anyone who actually fears for their safety is not totally in touch with the way this country operates. Without taking sides here, Republicans were outraged when President Obama took office, yet the decision was made by the people and there was an orderly transition of authority. Back in 1960, Kennedy upset Richard Nixon for the highest office in the land and Republicans were outraged that a Roman Catholic person could become President of the United States. Yet it happened… and once again, power transferred in an orderly fashion.
Republicans have worried for years that liberal Democrats would take over and destroy the country. Entitlement programs, massive debt and social programs as well as the toleration of illegal immigration were all issues that garnered the headlines. Yet those same people who got their way then are now at the forefront of protests and open disdain for the decision that happened in the wee hours of Wednesday morning – the fact that we have a new President-elect, Donald Trump.
Even after Hillary Clinton and President Obama requested unity, many Democrats disregarded that command and have taken the next step toward civil unrest. It’s a shame. There’s no doubt that elections are becoming more negative each election cycle. But the answer is to vote at the polls – not protest in the streets following the exercise of our democratic practice.
And while I sympathize with those who, with all their hearts, wanted to see Secretary Clinton break through the ultimate glass ceiling, it was not to be. And quite possibly, some of the “blame” rests squarely in the campaign headquarters of the Democratic party, or some of the decisions that she made regarding handling her post as Secretary of State. By the way, there is no defense for some of the things that Trump did either. But the purpose here tonight is not to debate the outcome. Suffice it to say that both parties have celebrated victories and suffered horrible defeats. That’s life in a democracy and if you can’t live with the will of the people and our voting process, then it may be time to move on…
At least 23 celebrities have committed to leave the country if Trump was elected. I will help them pack their bags. After all, if you run away when things don’t go your way, then you probably don’t belong here anyway. And this country doesn’t do well with idle threats. I hope they leave… When Kennedy defeated Nixon, John Wayne was heard to remark, “I didn’t vote for him, but now he’s my President and I hope he does a good job…” We need more of that kind of attitude and recognition right now!
The verse for tonight is from the apostle Paul as he was addressing his young pastor friend, Timothy. Paul tells us, in 1 Timothy 2:1-3, “I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior…” The fact of the matter is that the last thing we want to do is to have God turn His back on our nation. Yet disobedience and disrespect are traits that God doesn’t value in mankind.
My encouragement this evening is that there is still time to get on the bus and embrace the verdict that has been rendered relative to the presidential election. If you don’t like what Trump does, then vote him out in 4 years… that’s our right to do…. My prayer is that you will pray for our leaders, of both parties, and pray that they may work through their differences and that God will continue to bless our country as He has done since we invoked the name of God as we declared our independence 240 years ago. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…