Praying for a Pledge of Allegiance

I am an educator, not a politician.  I am a teacher and a taxpayer, and more importantly, a mother, which is why I am awake at 3 AM thinking about nations.  Yesterday, in what felt like a rite of passage, I took my eldest son, who recently turned 18 years old, to the polls to vote in his first midterm election.  He was a real hit.  The ladies at the polling place doted on him.  He filled out his ballot like a pro.  He got his sticker.  I took his picture.  I even posted it on Facebook, in a rare public display of parental pride.  He felt like a real American.  Over supper, my family had a heated discussion about Republicans, Democrats, and a failing two-party system.  I listened as my teenage boys schooled me on all that is wrong with our country.  We debated healthcare reform, immigration, constitutional interpretation, and the concept of legislating morality.  I went to bed mentally exhausted, a little bewildered, and legitimately concerned for the next generation.  I felt like a real American.  At 2 AM I awoke and read the news.  It seems our nation is more divided now than when I went to bed, which begs the question.  Has it always been like this?  Reading the news, it’s easy to imagine that this point in United States history is the most complex, most confusing, most volatile time we have ever experienced, but I wasn’t around for the Civil Rights movement, Vietnam, Prohibition, Women’s Suffrage, or a Civil War over states’ rights to own slaves.  Perhaps we’ve always been a nation divided.

I am an educator, not a politician, which means there is much I do not know about how to fix a broken country.  I’m also not a teenager, which means I won’t even pretend to know how to fix it.  I’m a teacher and a taxpayer, and more importantly, a mother, which is why I am awake at 3 AM thinking about the state of our Union, and here is all I know for certain.  As a human race, we are in desperate need of a better kingdom.  We need a better king.  We need more righteous laws and a more righteous leader.  We need liberty that lasts and justice that can actually see through lies.  We need truth that goes beyond borders, and love that tears down walls.  We need healing in families, forgiveness between genders and races, and peace among the nations. Honestly, we need some things on planet earth that I’m increasingly certain neither the Republicans nor the Democrats can deliver, and we need a generation of young people who are committed to a better way.  We need a generation of young people who are committed to the stuff of eternity.  The Bible teaches that the world and its desires are passing away (1 John 2:17), which means logically we should not be wasting too much of our time on any of it.  Yes, we should vote, but we should vote as if we were not voting, meaning simply that we should vote, but not as if our lives depend upon it.  Our lives do not depend upon what happens in Congress.  Our lives depend upon what happened at the Cross.

Yes, I am awake at 3 AM thinking about my country, and I doubt I’m the first American who has ever lost sleep over the state of our nation.  But although I’m sleepless, I am not restless.  I am not hopeless.  I am not afraid.  Yes, I am awake far too early in the morning thinking about my children.  In truth, I’m thinking about a school full of children, and here is what I want them to know.  Here is what I want them to be still and know.  God is God.  He will be exalted among the nations.  He will be exalted in all the earth (Psalm 46:10). That is not up for a vote, nor can it be vetoed, no matter who has control of the Senate.  Personally, I am not praying for a new generation of Republicans.  I’m not even praying for a new generation of Americans.  I am praying for a new generation of Christians who relentlessly, passionately, purposefully pledge their allegiance to Jesus Christ and His Kingdom come.

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