Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Change We Can Believe In

Today as I was walking out of class I passed a young African-American college student with an Obama T-shirt sporting the slogan, "Change We Can Believe In." It is a very rare thing when a person embodies an idea, at least in the minds of other people. Hitler is commonly viewed as the embodiment of evil, Ghandi the embodiment of nonviolent protest, and Rev. Martin Luther King as the embodiment of civil rights. On the morning after a new first in our country, Democrats and Republicans look to the president-elect as the embodiment of change.

Ask any young college student today if they are resistant to change and they will vehemently deny it. Yet, if you follow them around for a semester, they will sit in the same seat every class period, talk to the same people, and eat at the same restaurants. Yet today I sit in my cubicle only a few months away from a Democratic, Obama Administration. As a matter of fact, I will begin employment with the federal government a few weeks before Obama swears in as the 44th president of the United States. I guarantee you my job will be impacted, and if he doesn't impact it, the Democratic Congress will.

Although I argue that I don't hold to one party, I practically vote Republican all the time. Drat. So back to the slogan, "Change We Can Believe In." What kind of change does Obama represent, and what does it mean that I can believe in it (or him)? Unfortunately, most college students I run into have this interpretation; change means not George W. Bush. That scares me because not being something is not a definition. You can never define something by what it isn't unless you can encompass everthing that it isn't and you can identify exactly what it is. If I say that a Democrat is not a Republican, I would have to throw the Green Party, Libertarian Party, Communist Party, and all other political ideals into the mix with the Democratic Party. Or if I were to say that Obama's Administration will not be like Bush's, that coud mean any number of things. If change is merely what something else is not, we really have no idea what the next four years will be like and we have no idea who we've just elected.

A lot of people look to Obama through two different filters. To the one group, he is new, ready to turn Washington on its head to fight for the American people, to protect us from our enemies abroad and to rebuild our struggling financial system. The other group is fearful, or at least watchful, of this new figurehead of the American people. He's promised change, but his views on abortion, selecting Supreme Court Judges, taxation, and the like worry some conservatives. Although he's made many campaign promises, he admits that, "we may not get there in one year or even one term," so many of his proposed changes may never even come to be. Whatever happens, it is important to remember that there is really only ONE person we can believe in to keep his promises. That person is neither Barack Obama nor John McCain. Whatever your political view, God is in control and this nation is headed on a trajectory that He has deemed appropriate to glorify himself with, either by our rising or our falling as a people.

Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, our hearts sprinkled [clean] from an evil conscience and our bodies washed in pure water. Let us hold on to the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. Hebrews 10:22-23

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