Friday, January 23, 2009

High Hopes

'cause he had high hopes, he had high hopes
He had high apple pie, in the sky hopes

All problems just a toy balloon
They'll be bursted soon
They're just bound to go pop
Oops, there goes another problem kerplop

-Frank Sinatra, High Hopes

Did you take Tuesday off or skip away to a TV to watch the inauguration? My local paper was filled with stories of people gathering in homes, barbershops, and churches to watch this historical event. Many were described to be in tears. There was even an interview with the granddaughter of a former slave about how she thought she'd never see this day.

The significance of this new administration with regards to our racist past, America's melting-pot multiculturalism, and the saying that anyone in this country could become president finally being proven true is valid and worth reflecting upon. But there was another reason so many were tuned in Tuesday- an end to the policies of the past eight years in the face of global crises we face. Barak Obama was elected on a platform of change. His biggest supporters spoke frequently of hope. So with this new administration, expectations are high as crises abound. He faces war, a collapsing economy, a divided electorate, and an incompetent legislature. It may be too much for one man, let alone two terms.

Deep down in our hearts, we all want to change the world for the better (or to better us). President Obama is no different. But we must be cautious of too much hope. After all, ‘hope springs eternal in the human breast. Man never is, but always to be blessed.’ The first part is quoted often and gives a sense of warm-fuzzies. But when you include the second sentence the poem takes on a different meaning. We always hope because we never ever can get what it is we’re hoping for. Change? Keep hoping. The political establishment is well defined, there will always be wars over land, resources and power, there will always be someone in need, and people will never agree on everything.

It helps to have hope aimed in the right direction. "In his name the nations will put their hope." (Mt 12:21) "And again, Isaiah says, 'The Root of Jesse will spring up, one who will arise to rule over the nations; the Gentiles will hope in him.'" (Rom 15:12) Jesus is our hope and our salvation. Everything here is just a mist.

To keep things in perspective consider:

The poor you will always have with you... (Mt 26:11)
When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed... (Mk 13:7)
My kingdom in not of this world... (Jn 18:36)

Are you optimistic about this new administration? Elated, encouraged or excited? Or are you skeptical? Discouraged, disgruntled, or disappointed? Whichever side of the isle you’re on, whatever color your state, whatever direction your political winds blow remember the words of Jesus above. Obama is only a person with a title, in a position created by people as flawed as we are. Our hope is in Christ alone.


Cowgirl said...

Once again, a deep, well thoughout post. Great thoughts, and thank you for sharing! It's certainly given me some food for thought as I sit here at my desk. :)

Fatha Frank said...

Thanks for the comment. I'll try and keep 'em coming. Thank the Holy Spirit for the inspiration and my kids for being quiet long enough to post :)