Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The Hardest Part Begins

Like many of you, I'm relieved the election is finally over. Two years of constant campaigning is too much. I wish that the election cycle could be shortened to six weeks, but realistically, those who benefit from lengthy and expensive campaigns will never let that happen.

Congratulations and best wishes to Barack Obama on his historic victory. His election demonstrates that the American dream is not myth, but reality. This is a very good thing for the country. He was not my choice, but I pray that he will deliver on the promise in his acceptance speech to reach out to those who did not vote for him.

"Change" and "hope" were the catch-phrases for this election for both candidates. Now that the election is over, let us put it in perspective.

Presidents are limited in what they can achieve by many things over which they have no control: the powers of the Congress and Supreme Court, history, competing interests of powerful lobby groups, the expectations of their party and supporters, the opposition of those who do not agree with their policy proposals, the actions of foreign countries, the strengths and weaknesses of their advisors and Cabinet secretaries, and their own human shortcomings. Campaigning is very diffcult, but governing is even harder.

Psalm 146 reminds us not to have unrealistic expectations for our leaders:

3 Do not put your trust in princes,
in mortal men, who cannot save.

4 When their spirit departs, they return to the ground;
on that very day their plans come to nothing.

5 Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob,
whose hope is in the LORD his God,

6 the Maker of heaven and earth,
the sea, and everything in them—
the LORD, who remains faithful forever.

7 He upholds the cause of the oppressed
and gives food to the hungry.
The LORD sets prisoners free,

8 the LORD gives sight to the blind,
the LORD lifts up those who are bowed down,
the LORD loves the righteous.

9 The LORD watches over the alien
and sustains the fatherless and the widow,
but he frustrates the ways of the wicked.

10 The LORD reigns forever,
your God, O Zion, for all generations.
Praise the LORD.

President-Elect Obama needs our prayers for God's guidance and wisdom as he begins the process of choosing members of his new administration, and continuing after he takes office. May the Lord be with him and with this country!

10 comments:

Rev Kim said...

Amen. He wasn't my choice either, and I too hope he listen to the voices that don't agree with him. I heard one commentator suggest last night that if he truly intends to reach out, a great way to do that would be McCain as Secretary of State.

I'm also praying for President-Elect Obama and his family.

cheesehead said...

I'm going to allow myself some happiness--something I haven't felt politically in a long time. I am not sure that all of my more conservative brothers and sisters can realize what this feels like for me. It is pure joy.

I'm also feeling very hopeful--not in a cliched, bumper-sticker kum-ba-yah kind of way, but in a way that realizes the sober reality, considers all the facts, and yet still chooses to believe that we are all more than the sum of our parts.

And yes, your guy gave a very gracious speech. God bless us all.

Mac said...

And the first member of his White House staff is Illinois congressman Rahm Emmanuel, one of the Clinton White House enforcers. Not a good sign.

Still, my mother (a yellow dog Democrat of the first order), always said, "no one enters the presidency with the intent to ruin the Country or to be a bad President." For good or ill, he will be our President--my President--and I will keep him in my prayers.

Gannet Girl said...

Thank you for that lovely and gracious post. I thought of you often last night, knowing that as my state offered the first major sign of the direction in which we were going, you were hoping for a different outcome.

And a note of humor: as I was out driving around yesterday, I was thinking that for the past eight years I could have had one of those bumper stickers that said, "Don't blame me - I didn't vote for him!" and that it was beginning to look as if now I might need one that says "Yeah, it's my fault this time." Despite the many factors that go into every decision, as you have noted, he still does bear an awesome responsibility for what comes next.

Stushie said...

Amen to all.

Presbyterian Gal said...

All I got today is "Amen".

I did vote for "O" and am happy he won. Now today I look at just the little bit of his upcoming job that I can see and feel like Butch and Sundance when they jumped off that cliff.

Princess of Everything (and then some) said...

Thank you so much for this post QG. You write so well. I totally agree with each and every word.

I am so very tired of the *in your face* from TV, internet and blogs. I guess I am just one of those if you cannot say anything nice kinda people.

The Vicar of Hogsmeade said...

I completely agree with you about "pray[ing] that he will deliver on the promise in his acceptance speech to reach out to those who did not vote for him."

I'm tired of promises not kept on both sides of the aisle. And Psalm 46 is a terrific reminder that God is our refuge and strength.

Hot Cup Lutheran said...

what a wonderfully intelligent post on the election... and psalm 46 - beautiful reminder of the rock of our hope indeed...

elaine said...

What a gracious post. Thank you. I am deeply hopeful, but I think the road ahead is not easy. Never is. And prayer is truly the place to begin.

I was incredibly impressed with McCain's speech last night--class act. It felt like the authentic McCain was back. He was not my choice, but I had alway respected him. I hope Obama really does try to work with him in significant ways.