Wednesday, November 14, 2007

An Uncommon Political Position

When we think of political posturing, we most often think in terms of left, right or center. We want to know if the candidate or official in question is a conservative or a liberal and will they seek to execute public policy with government assistance or bootstrap private solutions. We want to be assured that our leaders are people who can hold their own and stand on their own two feet. We don't expect our leaders in these "enlightened" times to fall on their knees or to call for us to do the same. Well, that's exactly the position that Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue has taken. In the face of a withering drought and on the threshold of a potentially crippling calamity not seen in our lifetime, Governor Perdue is calling his state to fall on its knees in prayer.

I should note that Gov. Perdue is not advocating doing nothing except pray. Instead, he is calling the people of Georgia to change their lifestyles - to conserve, to recycle and to repair. But, having done all that can be humanly done, the Governor is asking the citizens of Georgia to call on the One who has the ultimate power over the elements. It seems that the Governor remembers the stirring refrain from the children's worship song that the Lord has "...the wind and the rain - in HIS hands - Yes, He's got the WHOLE WORLD in His hands!"

The Governor's position is uncommon in a day characterized by a supreme confidence in technology and an unrelenting certainty that progress and human effort will solve all of humanity's problems. It is considered foolish and humorous to humbly to trust God in the midst of each and every human activity including times of trouble. In our current cultural climate, one cannot expect to be taken seriously - especially as a politician - if one persists in the belief that God is involved in human affairs and that He desires for us to turn to Him in the midst of every circumstance whether good or bad.

Nevertheless, for followers of Jesus Christ, a humble and prayerful attitude should characterize every aspect of our lives, including the way we carry out our professional and civic duties. 2 Chronicles 7:14 says it so well:

If my people, who are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Humility, prayer, and righteous living. Not common political characteristics - or common characteristics for anyone in the public eye these days - but valuable and precious traits that can make us a better people and a stronger nation. Don't forget to pray for the drought that is hammering not just Georgia, but much of the Southeast. And don't forget to pray for leaders like Sonny Perdue who cares less about what people think and more about what God requires - a call to live responsibly and a call to live in humility before the Lord. That's a political position I can kneel with. Until next time...