Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Now What?

“Tell the children of Israel to go forward.” Exodus 14:15

Have you ever wondered what a dog chasing a car would do if he actually caught it? Take a minute to run that little video in your head. In my mind the dog gets a good grip on the tire and then flops around in circles with the turning of the wheels. Perhaps that is what goes through the mind of each dog as they race toward a car, only to veer off and give up the chase every single time. How frustrating to always chase and never catch.

As a conservative in politics, I know the feeling. Of course, if I were a liberal in politics I would know the feeling, also. It seems each philosophy races toward its objective, only to veer off at the last moment, short of the goal. When it happens with liberals, I rejoice. (And, I am perfectly comfortable with knowing they rejoice when it happens to me.)

When it happens to me, I murmur. I accept that we are gun rights proponents, making us uniquely equipped to shoot ourselves in the foot. My observation has been that we are never so far ahead that we cannot snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Not a pessimist, just a realist.

Apparently, God has had to deal with people like me for a really long time. Take, for instance, the people of Israel when Moses led them out of Egypt. The Lord had just performed miracle after miracle after miracle on behalf of the Israelites. He had put His hand of protection over them and given them favor in the eyes of the Egyptians. So, of course, you would think when they came to a difficult spot they would trust Him to bring them through. But, no. Instead they murmured and whined. “Is this not the word that we told you in Egypt, saying, ‘Let us alone that we may serve the Egyptians? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than that we should die in the wilderness.” (Yet another day in history that it was a good thing I am not God.)

Modern day conservatives / Republicans are having a similar experience. There has been a political mandate set down by the electorate for change in our governing habits. Representatives have been sent to Washington and to Austin to make the change, only to be confronted by a system of doing things that is the statesman’s equivalent of the Red Sea. The sea before them, the voters at their back. Some of them are succumbing to the pressure by conforming their expectations to those of the status quo.

But, when the Israelites came to an impossible situation - the Red Sea, the Lord did not tell them to turn around and go back into captivity. His word was, “Tell the children of Israel to go forward.”

It did not look easy. It did not even look possible. And yet, the Lord provided a way.

Lord, regardless of our political philosophy, give us the courage to follow the call You have put on our lives. Do not allow us to be swayed by our circumstances but, with wisdom and trust, to follow You and, once we have begun, to follow through.

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