Tag Archives: Trump

Election 2016 Is Finally Over! Now What?

 

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Wow. Like it or loathe it, what happened on Election Day 2016 was one of the most amazing events in America’s not-really-very-long-yet history.

Long before November 8, this election cycle was feeling agonizingly lengthy–yea, verily, almost eternal–and things were shaping up, well, interestingly, to say the least.

Once we muddled through the conventions, more than a few folks across the political spectrum found themselves fervently wishing that “none of the above” was a valid ballot choice. Lots of folks felt that the presidential options being offered were decidedly non-presidential, even appalling, a real choice but one on the level of choosing between a root canal or a rectal exam. Not a choice likely to bring much joy.

Voting is an incredible privilege. But it’s not fun to feel like pushing a button or coloring in an oval for either candidate would necessitate some serious finger scrubbing or maybe even amputation to remove the resulting stain. More than a few folks left the voting booth sad and angry that a great nation could be offered such a rotten choice.

Real respect and trust for the candidates was at a record low for a record high number of voters. In the days leading up to the election, one leading presidential candidate was being FBI-investigated again for, at best, a serious lapse in judgement and, at worst, a criminal act. And the other candidate? Well, when his running mate (both running mates were rated far more favorably than their candidates) wasn’t hiding in embarrassment, he made a comment about this flawed but “good” man, and columnist George Will wryly asked, “What would a bad man look like?”

Time marched on. Election Day came. And just when it seemed that one candidate would be justified in the measuring the White House for new drapes, and the other would have to settle for life in a tower and not in a white mansion, . . . well, you know what happened. I’m still sleep-deprived from watching it unfold–and it “unfolded” down through the “down ballot” races, too.

It’s still unfolding. You can pick from a long list of adjectives to describe it, but “fascinating” is one. Evidently many Americans, most of us in one way or another, are just fed up and ready, politically speaking, to light a match to the whole thing.

It is, however, a very good idea to remember that if you burn something down, you have a responsibility to build something better in its place. However we voted, the election is over. Though I absolutely affirm the right of anyone to peacefully make their opinion known, I’ve never felt a need to march in protest if my candidate didn’t win. It’s over.

It is a good time, on all sides, for some humility. And grace. And the wisdom and civility to talk to and try to hear those with whom we disagree. I think I saw in Donald Trump’s face during his acceptance speech something that might almost have been sincere humility. A weight much heavier than Trump Tower has just been placed on his shoulders. I pray for wisdom, for wise advisers, for humility, and grace. The kind that sort of weight might produce.

All Americans should pray that our new president will do well. For Christians, praying for him is not just a good thing, it’s a command.

I thought it was nice to see our soon-to-be president hosted in the White House by our present president. It felt good that they were civil. The kids like it when the parents quit fighting and actually talk. I think our Father, our King, likes it, too.

 

       You’re invited to visit my website at http://www.CurtisShelburne.com!

 

Copyright 2016 by Curtis K. Shelburne. Permission to copy without altering text or for monetary gain is hereby granted subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.


“What Have You Learned From Your Failures?”

 

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Note: I just ran across this column/blog I wrote in 2012. I’d almost forgotten.  Aargh!

“What have you learned from your successes and failures?”

That was the question the interviewer put to billionaire Donald Trump a few months ago during Trump’s brief (and, I personally hope, never to be revived) flirtation with presidential candidacy.

His answer: “I don’t see myself as having failures . . .”

I was so surprised by the answer that I may not have heard if he later tried to pull that bit of nonsense out of the ditch. Could any sane person fall into a failure more foolish or fatal than to claim to have no failures?

Two kinds of people draw breath in this world: those who are seriously weak and flawed and know it, and those who are seriously weak and flawed and don’t know it. We’re far better off being, and spending time with, the former. The latter are uncommonly tiresome, obnoxious, dangerous—and well-avoided.

Yes, we’re far better off belonging to the first group and being honest about it. But I suspect the only way that priceless knowledge can be bought is with some very costly pain. Until we’ve been hit “up the side of the head” pretty hard with one of the major bricks life sooner or later throws at us all, I doubt we can offer much real and condescension-less comfort to others who are also ordinary humans—which means at times concussed, bruised, bleeding.

Until we’ve shot ourselves in the foot and have been forced to learn that, though God’s children all dance, they also all walk with a limp, I doubt we have much valuable to offer those who want to join the dance.

We may talk a good game about grace, about how we’re all sinners in the same boat completely dependent upon God’s mercy. But until we’ve swallowed enough sea water to seem to be headed under for the last time, I doubt we can really open our hands to reach up for God’s hand or to reach out a hand to genuinely help others.

Until we’ve been aghast to find ourselves down in the depths, we deep down think in our heart of hearts, even if not aloud, that we or our group are a cut above the rest. God’s favorites. The blue birds in the class. At least a little bit gifted and talented morally. We blindly think that all we really need is a little more time to try harder, get things all figured out, and sharpen up our act.

Until we’ve been jolted into sanity by hitting bottom, we center on our problem with sins rather than our problem with Sin, worry more about outward acts than inward putrescence, focus on specks of sawdust in other folks’ eyes rather than planks in our own. We waste time gazing through the wrong end of the telescope. Nothing clears up the picture more quickly than hitting the wall with some obvious failure and living through the pain that follows. Then grace means something because it is real and precious. It has always been our only hope, but now we know it.

And then if someone asks us how we’ve dealt with failure, the answer will be worth hearing.

 

You’re invited to visit my website at http://www.CurtisShelburne.com!

 

Copyright 2012 by Curtis K. Shelburne. Permission to copy without altering text or for monetary gain is hereby granted subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.


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