I am tired of the political process.
I cannot imagine another six months of this negativity. It is hard to watch the repeated slams at the other party’s candidate. The negative ads are sure to be in force this year. In fact, it seems quite clear that the candidates do not need a well-polished ad to deliver their message but rather simply a microphone. It is no wonder that the electorate is quite pessimistic when it comes to political engagement.
The campaign promises are nothing new. Better healthcare. Lower taxes. Free tuition. Secure borders. More jobs. Improved education. These are similar to previous year’s campaigns. Choose a year and you will find identical statements.
The pundits will articulate that there are few commonalities between the candidates. “There are clear differences when it comes to each political party. Be informed and vote wisely.” This is true. And it is not true.
It is true that there are distinct perspectives on how to improve our country. Each candidate has a different vision for our nation. However there is one clear commonality. The common thread for every candidate is the promise of a more secure, prosperous lifestyle now. It is the notion that we should be comfortable, secure, and prosperous today. It is the promise of immediacy.
This message is very attractive to our culture. We are impatient. Lines are bothersome. Waits are annoyances. Multitasking is the rage and expectation. We want things now without delay. This is true for all areas of our life, especially when it comes to national concerns. The common thread in each political candidate’s message is the promise of immediate improvement in life.
As a Christian I find myself sucked into this debate like any other person. I too want life to be improved. I am concerned about education and jobs. Security is something that is important to me, especially when it comes to schools. And if we can get it now, great! Yet, I wonder if I should be more cautious when it comes to these promises. I wonder if my focus should be more measured.
I have become increasingly aware of the future oriented perspective of Jesus. At times, He improved people’s conditions on the spot, e.g. He healed someone. However, on most occasions He looked to the distant future. He directed our attention to the treasures of heaven rather the earth. He talked of new bodies that do not decay beyond the grave. He encouraged us with visions of a sinless life once these broken bodies are shed.
He encouraged attitudes of perseverance, patience, and longsuffering. These are perspectives that challenge immediacy. Grace is learned rather than simply received. Hope is embodied through perseverance not wrapped around an entitlement. Joy is cultivated in the midst of pain not in the absence of it.
Christ came to provide something that transcends the immediate. In the midst of the political discourse, we should remember this. Our hearts should not be taken with the allure of empty promises that cannot ultimately deliver the longed for improvements in life. We should look to the One who can.