I can’t help having the feeling that something big is happening next week. What was it? Oh, yes—we are electing a President. How could I have forgotten? I think I’m going to enjoy regular commercials after the election. For now, every other time slot usually reserved for Lemon Fresh Joy or Mountain Dew is taken by Hillary and Donald. Nothing personal against either one of them, but I’m ready for a fresh face.
Electing a President is serious business—and it should be. This election has been a troubling one on many fronts for me. Accusations have been flung and names have been called and character has been challenged. Most troubling has been the lack of civility. Some believe this election will mark the end of civility in politics. I hope that isn’t true. But I’m also reminded of something I think we tend to forget in such elections. It is tempting for us to imagine that the President is the person “in charge”. That same idea floats around in the United Methodist Church—that we have a Bishop and the Bishop is “in charge”. It also lives in our corporate culture where we believe that the CEO is “in charge”.
And while it is true that these persons are, indeed, important and influential, the older I get and the more I experience the world, the more convinced I am that we live in a “maybe” world. There don’t appear to be hard, fast answers to all the questions we face. Candidates and other “in charge” types frequently raise their voices and try and make us believe they know all the right moves. They don’t. The simple truth is that we are—all of us—improvising much of the time. This does not cause me to feel despair. On the contrary, it all-the- more reminds me that I am in a “co-creating” relationship with God. God wants and needs me to help get things done. And it doesn’t mean I have to do them all by myself. I need a community of people with whom to share these tasks and to think clearly how to do things better. This is what makes it all fun.
But now that I know there is nobody out there who is going to “fix” everything, it serves as a reminder to how important I am. And how important you are. I grew up in a Sunday School culture that believed “God has no hands and feet, but mine.” I hope after this election, no matter which candidate wins, we remember that WE are the ones in charge and WE are the ones that have to make our democracy work.