This is just a little follow up to my Tuesday post on the American election.
The votes have been counted (well, enough to make the outcome clear, anyway). And Trump has it. The Republicans have it.
And I concluded that perhaps this election was a bit like turning up at the bus stop to wait for your bus. You see two buses coming down the road towards you.
One is the bus that’s going to your destination. But my goodness, to say it’s being driven by a maniac would be an understatement. It’s swerving all over the place, and you know you’re in for a bumpy ride. There’s hooting, and you’re pretty sure you can hear the bus driver hollering something not altogether friendly. There’s even a niggling suspicion that the ride could be outright dangerous, both for the passengers, and for anyone sharing the same road.
But the other bus, driven by someone whose approach looks altogether less risky, is not going your way. In fact, at the next turning, it’s going in a completely different direction altogether. And why would you want to get on a bus that takes you further away from your destination than you are at the moment?
What choice would you make? You could get on the risky bus and hope you all get there safely. You might be able to encourage the driver to take more care. You might even secretly hope he’ll let someone else drive the bus instead. Or you could get on the bus that’s going the wrong way, and hope they’ll have a change of heart about their intended destination. You could get on it and chat with your fellow passengers and try to convince them of the appeal of your destination over theirs. Engage with them.
But the basic problem is, you’ve got to do something. And it feels like there isn’t a right and wrong answer, instead, there are two wrong answers; it’s just a question of choosing the answer which is less wrong. And sometimes that’s an altogether harder prospect.
So I really feel for my American friends. I’ll be praying for them, that whatever the decision they made, and however they’re feeling about the outcome right now, they will still hold onto hope. I pray that they’ll engage with things as well. Maybe now would be a good time to contact the bus company and ask for changes in the way they do things. How did that guy ever end up driving a bus? And why do we only have two destinations to choose from?
I suppose there’s a little cynicism too. I Tweeted this on Wednesday, for example:
‘Time to bind the wounds of division’ sounds odd coming from a man who exploited & deepened some of the most painful ones. #ElectionDay
— Nick Parish (@Longingtobeholy) November 9, 2016
Yes, it sounds odd. And it’s difficult to imagine that he’ll be any good at it. But there’s a constant challenge for all of us to avoid allowing cynicism to overwhelm hope. Think of the stars. The darker the night, the brighter the stars. Hope is a wonderful thing. And I think that maybe hope is the trump card that needs to be played right about now.
…then you will shine among them, like stars… Philippians 2:15
So, my American friends in particular, this one’s for you. What is your hope built on?