Thursday, November 09, 2006

It's a New Day...

A new day for our nation's government.
To move in a new direction, with new men and women in leadership positions.
To change our course, to shift the balance of power.
To make a new plan for a new future.

It is time to admit mistakes and wrong decisions.
It is time to consider new possibilities and changes in direction.

It is time to graciously step down and accept defeat.
It is time to graciously accept the mantle of responsibility and accept victory.

It is time for each of us, for all of us to reach out to one another, asking for forgiveness for words spoken in anger, in conceit, in self-pity, and in vain attempts to cover our own wrongdoing.

It's a new day, yes, but some things will remain the same, at least they ought to.

In my own life, I will continue to still seek to do right because it's the right thing to do. I will continue to examine my own behavior, to acknowledge my failings, and pray for the humility to admit wrong and make amends. I will encourage my husband, my children, and my friends to do the same. I will continue to pray for our national leaders, governors, senators, and congressional representatives - for their integrity, for their pursuit of righteousness, and for their resolve to stand firm for justice, peace, and mercy.

If there is going to be peace in the world, I must begin to pursue it in my own life. I will be peaceful with my words, by not using foul language, mean words, not engaging in gossip, and not bad-mouthing those with whom I disagree.

I will be peaceful in my actions, not only in how I treat my husband and children, the people I love, but also in how I treat those who bad-mouth and criticize me and the ideas I embrace. As much as it depends on me, I will live at peace with all those with whom I come in contact.

Jesus said that the world will know we are Christians, not by our political capital, not by our wealth, not because we pick and choose which social or political or religious battles we will fight, or which laws we establish or take off the books. We will be known as children of God not because we agree on every point or because we are all healthy, wealthy, and strong. No, He didn't refer to any of those things as the standards by which the world would know who we are and Whose we are.

He said that the world, our neighbors, our friends,
and our family members will know we are Christians
by our love one for another.

Love that is patient, kind, rejoices with the truth
(even if the truth hurts me or my feelings).
Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes,
and always perseveres.

Love does not envy, doesn't boast, is not proud, rude,
self-seeking, or easily angered.

Love keeps no record of wrong.
(That's the toughest one for me. I SOOOOO want to point out
all the wrong I see in others.
A little "I told you so" every now and then
makes me feel so good.
But love, true love, relinquishes all hope for
retaliation and self-promotion.)

That's the kind of love I want to know.
That's the kind of love for which I want to be known.
Whether Democrat or Republican, wealthy or poor, black or white,
citizen or immigrant, married or single, parent or childless,
may it be love that both sets us apart and draws us together.

It's a new day for our country.
It's a new day for our entire world.
I hope and pray that it is a new day for me too.

Where we go from here, how the forward journey will progress, I do not yet know.
But I will not fear. I will not worry. Like my friend, Leonie, in a land far away, I will find my way into a church, sit quietly, and gaze up at the cross, alternating between whispering my prayers, my hopes, my dreams, my doubts, my fears,
and holding my breath as I wait to hear the answers.

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