Every four years, like clockwork, my internal stress level increases dramatically for maybe 4-6 months.
I actually take politics seriously, because for all of the stupidity and messiness of it, there are major issues at stake that impact both the present and future. It’s certainly true that politicians of both stripes don’t live up to their principles, but principles do matter.
Hence the anxiety. I worry about leadership. I worry about finances. I worry about consequences. I just worry!
Then I read this morning about a man named Simeon. Residents of Jerusalem 2,000 years ago had plenty to worry about – Roman occupiers, divided religious/secular leadership, political and social turmoil – we’re really not so unique here in 21st century America.
Simeon, however, while undoubtedly quite aware of what went on around him, had his mind also operating on another, higher, level. He is described, in the Gospel of Luke, (2:25-32), as being righteous and devout – “the Holy Spirit was upon him…it was revealed to Him by the Holy Spirit…he came in the Spirit into the temple…”
Simeon managed to live with a 2-track mind. His nearness to God and faith in His purposes gave Simeon a steadiness of mind I truly envy. He was waiting for a Messianic King, not simply wrapped up in the machinations of earthly thrones.
I am constantly trying to suppress (not always successfully) a longing to swing verbal swords in the political battlefield. To fight for the here-and-now. But while that is not wrong in and of itself, what I really need far more is a deeper work of the Holy Spirit. To live with my hope and longings fixed on a higher plane. Emperors and kings and presidents and senators will all pass away. Lord, grant me grace to follow a much greater King!