|Not meant to be...|
Even though, I wasn’t as submersed in this election as I was in 2008, where I lost sleep, got into constant arguments with family and friends at the drop of a hat, and was an emotional wreck for weeks leading up to election night, and tried my best to stay above the fray this time around (which I realize was a defense mechanism not to get emotionally crushed once again), I was still disappointed when Ohio’s results were announced and Obama surpassed the 270 electoral votes necessary to get reelected.
Despite trying to put on a brave face at work, it was like losing someone I knew and had grown to like a lot over the last several months.
I don’t know. Maybe, I take things too seriously. But, when I think about the direction our country is heading in, it really worries me. Our financial debt growing by the minute, which will take generations to pay off, our leaders more interested in politics, power and popularity than solving problems, and our values shifting from a focus on God, family, country and the greater good, to the marginalization of God and trampling of religious freedom, redefinition of the family, hate, division, and self-interest over the common good. And, worse of all, it seems a majority of people, including Catholics, don’t really care! (Or, at least, not as much as my circle of family, friends and I do)
I was hoping for change; of direction, of focus, of the gridlock that has plagued Washington, where everyone is pointing fingers, blaming and ostracizing the other side and, meanwhile, millions of Americans are un- or underemployed, more people are dependent on the government than ever before and Federal spending is out of control.
I know it’s easy to blame the other side, especially when the values and priorities are so diametrically opposed, but the way I see it, if it’s not working, why not change it? Why not try to see if someone else, namely Romney, someone from outside Washington with great business savvy, and his running mate, Paul Ryan, a young Catholic with strong moral convictions and considered an expert on governmental budgeting, would be more capable of leading and sparking compromise?
But, maybe the moral part is the problem, especially when morality is confused with choice, as some ads and media reports made it seem.
Abraham Lincoln once said, “Freedom is not the right to do what we want, but what we ought.”
Obviously, my hopes of change weren't meant to be.
This morning, on my way to work, I stopped by my parents’ house, as I usually do for some Cuban coffee, and I could tell they were downcast and dejected as well. Then my mom said, “Now, we have to pray even more than before. Pray that we can remain true to our beliefs and not be consumed or discouraged by the whims of the society.” Everyday that seems to get harder.
As I drove off to work, reflecting on the wisdom my mom had shared, I realized how right she was. We cannot succumb to despair and apparent defeat. There is always hope.
This might not have worked out the way I wanted, or even prayed for with my children, but it was according to God’s plan. It always is. It may even be a challenge for all of us who believe in God to trust in Him more and maybe, just maybe, through our prayers of intercession, we can help touch the hearts and minds of those who lead this great nation.
God put the Israelites through 40 years in the desert; let's hope we only have to endure eight! But, regardless, we can’t give up.
In the Letter to the Ephesians, St. Paul writes, “For our struggle is not with flesh and blood but with principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits in the heavens. Therefore, put on the armor of God, that you may be able to resist on the evil day and, having done everything, to hold your ground.”
As the late 19th Century hymn once said, “Onward Christian soldiers.”…