Quiet Subversion After a Chaotic Election

This morning shortly after awakening, I wiped the sleep from my eyes and got my bearings. Grateful to be in the land of the living, I moved eagerly toward the coffee. As the scent of freshly ground beans filled the room, and the steam from the hot water arose like a morning offering, my attention turned to what I had to do today. I pulled out my phone and looked at my list. I scanned my calendar for the week’s appointments. Then I saw the date and remembered: tomorrow’s election.

As if by simply looking at the date on the calendar, a rush of chaos flooded my mind. It’s like the beaver of sleep built a dam in the night, but the morning’s hands of mischief broke up the obstruction. I remembered the apocalyptic announcements by the candidates and cable news commentators. I recalled the expressions of anxiety and anger in the voices of friends and family. I considered again the massive distrust peddled by the purveyors of news and purchased by the people in our neighborhoods. My coffee wasn’t even made yet, and I had something I needed to work through.

Here I also remembered that we aren’t the first generation to live and likely won’t be the last. Chaos came before us, and it will come after us. And while the current election may have the most significant implications for the United States right now, it’s not the most important election of all time. In four years, we’ll hear the same lines. And then, four years later, we’ll hear them again.

Also, the Scriptures remind us that God is not a distant, disinterested deity. He’s not only the Creator of all things, but he’s also the Sustainer. “In him all things hold together” (Col. 1:17), we are told. The world in general and the United States, in particular, may feel like a top spinning wildly out of control, but it’s actually guided by the wise and powerful hand of providence. The writer of Hebrews says that Jesus “upholds the universe by the word of his power” (Heb. 1:3). Just think about the magnitude of this massive statement. For example, if we were to hollow out the sun, it would hold 1.3 million of our earths. And if we hollowed out the largest known star, it would hold 27 billion suns. God’s ability to keep things together is a remarkable and often overlooked accomplishment. He is big. We (and our problems) are relatively small. From the argument of the greater to the lesser, Jesus is quite competent to handle what we have coming down the pike. And even more, he’s ordained it.

We are here in this moment, in the little space we occupy, reacting to our environment. Like ants when their anthill is threatened, we have a flurry of activity and heightened concern. It’s a reasonable response. It’s natural. But it’s not theologically informed. In reality, there is a God in heaven. He is in complete control. “As for me, I have set my King on Zion, my holy hill” (Ps. 2:6). And, he’s not only powerful, but he’s good! (Ps. 119:68). When I don’t believe these two things I am prayerless and anxious. But when I do remember them, then I prayerful and trusting.

So, I’ll plan to vote on Tuesday trusting in the bedrock truth that “the LORD reigns” (Ps. 93:1). This truth should bring far more comfort than any particular candidate winning or losing. And on Wednesday morning, I’m planing my own little act of quiet subversion: mute the drama, make some coffee, and prayerfully trust the King. Will you join me?