To say that there is “tension in our nation” at the moment is an understatement. We have watched (or at most heard about) the impeachment divide that has been going on in the Senate for the past few weeks. It all boiled over last night at the State of the Union when Nancy Pelosi ripped up her copy of President Trump’s speech. From what I could determine from listening to it on the radio it was a typical opportunity for the sitting President to share his view of how things are going under his watch. Every past president has used the event to do the same. I’m not sure what prompted Mrs. Pelosi to do what she did but it was childish at best. Her actions follow what has been three years of both parties going back and forth at each other, trying to one up the latest jab and insult. Because of their actions less has been accomplished than what could have been. Then there was the mix-up in Iowa with the voter app not functioning properly. Even fellow democrats jumped on the bash-wagon mocking the party’s blunder. The leading candidates used it as an opportunity to talk about how even being a victim of the system they personally were able to overcome. It’s sad because the real victim of the past three years has been the American people. Who will be the adult in the room and take the high road in an attempt to restore dignity and honor to our political system? This is what happens when everyone is taught that getting their own way is a human right!
I like the way St John’s College Principal Bursar, Andrew Parker handled a climate change protest situation at Oxford last week. Oxford students were demanding that the College divest the millions it has invested in fossil fuel companies. The student leaders wrote to Mr. Parker requesting a meeting to discuss their demands, which are that the college “declares a climate emergency and immediately divests from fossil fuels”. Mr. Parker replied to their request: “I am not able to arrange any divestment at short notice,” he wrote. “But I can arrange for the gas central heating in college to be switched off with immediate effect. Please let me know if you support this proposal.” Of course the students did not go for this. Organizers replied: “This is an inappropriate and flippant response by the bursar to what we were hoping would be a mature discussion. It’s January and it would be borderline dangerous to switch off the central heating.” Professor Parker responded to that note saying, “You are right that I am being provocative but I am provoking some clear thinking, I hope. It is all too easy to request others to do things that carry no personal cost to yourself. The question is whether you and others are prepared to make personal sacrifices to achieve the goals of environmental improvement (which I support as a goal).”
Parker’s statement is one I wish both American parties would consider. It is all too easy to request others to do things that carry no personal cost to yourself. When leaders do not consider the cost of their actions, are they really leading? Leaders make hard decisions that will hurt some in the process but a true leader is able to put his or her personal feelings aside and do what is best for the whole. Pray that our leaders show more maturity in the days to come because the world is watching and following their behavior.
What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you?You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them. Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it. And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure. James 4:1-3
Serving the Savior,
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