It is a wild and wonderful time to be alive. Can you feel it? I sure can! As November 2020 rolls along (predictably slowly) there is a mystery hanging in the air amongst most of the conversations and social media sources I’ve noticed. Twitter and Facebook are loaded with Trump vs Biden arguments — most of them are heated, ugly, insulting, judgmental, etc. Only a few of the disagreements seem to be respectful and courteous, even amongst clergy who’ve been “brothers”/colleagues for decades. It’s been a long, exhausting American campaign season and there is little relief in sight. The anxiety is palpable.
Who is at their best, during this time? If it weren’t for the pandemic, perhaps the collective stress would be a lot more manageable. Yet, the virus keeps on spreading and further complicating life for everyone. If ever there was a time to demonstrate goodwill and peace with others, it’s now. Now matters.
It’s hard to watch the news these days, but it’s also hard to look away from the stories dominating the headlines; especially regarding the US election. Who will win? When the winner is announced, how will the opposing side react to the news? Will the losing party behave like sore losers and angrily declare war on the winning party? This is an extreme possibility about what may occur in a matter of days in the USA, as both sides are intent on securing the presidency. I don’t think any award-winning screenwriter could write such a compelling story line, as what is going to be unfolding this week.
As I watch and read the news, I feel so troubled for the nation. There is little peace to be found. Family members are unwelcomed. Friends are unfriended. Coworkers are ridiculed. Complete strangers are insulting and judging each other. Add the Coronavirus to the mix — people are getting sick, losing income, isolated, closing down businesses, and some are tragically dying alone. Many hospital workers are physically and emotionally drained — not to mention, traumatized. Sometimes bereavement counselors are comforting multiple family members, different weeks at a time. The world is in abject chaos, especially America.
The USA is not just weakened by Covid, but has a desperate need for good leadership. This is an election that virtually everyone is watching, as we are anticipating a “shock and awe” affect. This will be a week unlike any other, in our lifetime. The likelihood of hostility and possibly violence unleashed on fellow Americans is not what the United States (or the world) needs. The opposite of this would be for both sides to acknowledge errors and weaknesses, seeking reconciliation and to work together. The timeless, soothing peace-seeking message in John Lennon’s “Imagine” (personally, I choose to add ‘Heaven above us’) comes to mind …. ***sigh*** a pipe dream.
But in reality, there are going to be winners and losers this week. The winners are those offering compassion, hospitality, resources, opportunities for growth, sharing provisions – while still practicing social distancing, wearing masks and PPE, seeking healthy ways of communicating, etc. For the antithesis of this, I decided to look no further than the Bible for some inspiration on how to describe losers:
1 Corinthians 15:33 Bad Influences (“Bad company corrupts good character”)
2 John 1:10 False teachers (Don’t welcome them)
1 Corinthians 5:11 “Professing Christians” with sinful lifestyles (Stay away from greedy, immoral, phony people)
Titus 3:10–11 Divisive People (Avoid those who cause division)
4 Types of People God Tells Us To Avoid
God warns us against If you enjoy this devotion, sign up for a free subscription at the bottom. ----------- snobbery and…
Please …. Don’t be a loser. Even if “your side” loses, process the disappointment. It may take time (maybe lots of time) to accept the loss, but you can still have a healthy attitude and optimistic approach to life. Find ways to make the lives of others’ better, even if it’s just trying to empathize and get along. Continuing to quarrel on social media or in person is the wrong thing to do. Having a revengeful spirit is never acceptable. Be willing to forgive anyone who offends you.
By demonstrating humility, discipline, patience and regard for others, you will help America heal from this disastrous year. Similarly, the Coronavirus will go away faster if you listen to the recommendations from the experts in infectious disease control. Why make things worse for yourself and others? You can be a winner, by caring about people – even those you will never meet. What feels like ‘Hell’ on earth, can be restored into a new way of living. Be a winner, not a whiner. The next generation is counting on you …. and the next …. (Preaching all of this to myself first, even though I cannot cast a vote.) God bless America.
Sending prayers for peace, wisdom and healing from Canada,