I have seen tweets and posts, news reports and editorials, all on the wish for a quick end to 2016. I am not naive to the use of hyperbole, or ignorant to the nuances of irony, so I understand the joke regarding the number of tragic events of the year and how “2016” was out to “get us.” However, I also see a year end that some truly believe was one of the worst in history.
The events that seem to gain the most ground with some who wish the current times to end are the deaths of icons, the political climate and election, and the recent events at the UN regarding Israel demonstrating the departure from a 40-year stance of the United States regarding our ally. (Ironically, as I opened up WordPress to type this blog, there was an inbox message referring me to an old post of mine regarding Israel, found here.) At the risk of the firestorm that might come my way or the inevitable misunderstanding that I see daily from twitter feeds or Facebook posts… I am going to weigh in.
Everything is going to be OK.
I would suggest that we are either poor at remembering history, or for some, we have no knowledge of history. Either way, we tend to be creatures of the moment. What we witness on any given day is too often declared to be unprecedented. Because of this, we develop a false premise that all tragedy happening before us will cause the demise of the world as we know it. I have even seen some Christian leaders use words to describe the political system of our nation as “unraveling.”
I have been alive for seven (7) transitions of Presidential power, and if God allows me to live another month, I will witness an 8th coming on the 20th of January. I remember first understanding the transition to a new President as a 9-year-old in 1979 as Ronald Reagan defeated Jimmy Carter, and I remember an elementary school teacher was sad about the change. This statement will sound like it comes from an out of touch old guy, but our political system is not unraveling. It is actually working the way it is supposed to, and it has always meant that a number of people will be either unhappy or pleased with the results. This year’s election was unique in some ways, but it was also very much like any other election. The problem is that we tend to be more reactionary these days and we also have the ability to voice our concerns or celebrations instantaneously and to greater numbers through social media, so this time seems different but it is not. Regardless of what is said, and with all respect to the outgoing administration, “hope” is not at all gone. Our hope is not in an administration. At a governmental level it is based on a document signed 229 years ago. At a infinitely more important and personal level, it is based on a baby born, who became a Sacrifice on a cross, and who then rose victorious 2000+ years ago.
Decisions made by those who are in power do matter, and can be detrimental, so without a proper perspective we can become worried. There are times that we have proper perspective and our concern is justified. Such is the case with the recent vote at the U.N. The United States abstained from a vote taken against Israel. Some might not understand the situation in the Middle East other than from what they see in an occasional tweet, might not have the perspective of a 40-year history regarding our stand on the issue brought up again in the last couple of days, or might not see the problem because technically we did not vote “against” Israel in that we only abstained from the vote.
Understand that we have been the only nation (at most times) that has stood with Israel. We had the power in a veto to stop any decision made by the United Nations Security Council. Instead, we let their action against Israel happen. The saying goes, “evil prevails when good men do nothing.” We did nothing. There are reports that our nation’s leaders did more than nothing in that the US actually orchestrated the vote, but that is denied by our leaders. So, for the sake of this post, taking the administration’s word for it, then what we did was to allow evil to prevail while we, as good men, did nothing for our friend, Israel. For those who are looking for the tragedy of 2016, our reversal on Israel is the one that needs to be mourned, and in an expedient manner, it needs to be righted.
As 2016 comes to a close, you are right to feel sad if someone that you admired or enjoyed was taken away through death. You are reasonable to know that the election seemed to be odd and to wonder what it will all mean come January 20th. However, you are also encouraged to take a stand for things that really matter, and to attempt to make your world a better place. Then, you must refuse to lose your mind over things that you have no perspective of or are simply reacting to out of fear, and at the same time refuse to back down from taking action on the things that really do matter. History is filled with those who believed that “it” was over, only to find that the “rumor of [the] demise was greatly exaggerated.”
Do not live in fear. Do not panic. Look for and work for the best that is possible before you. Right the actually wrongs and fight for what is right regardless of the voices crying against you. While the world is crying that the sky is falling; you be the voice that declares the foundation is strong!