As crazy as it seems, that’s the reality. One of these two men will be elected on Tuesday to the same office first occupied by Washington.
Sometimes it blows my mind a little that today’s U.S. presidents are the heirs of those guys on Mount Rushmore and their counterparts. In a couple of centuries, our neighbor to the south has gone from John Adams and John Quincy Adams to George Bush and George W. Bush.
I cannot tell a lie: it often seems like the apple has fallen very far from the George Washington’s cherry tree.
‘Why can’t we have presidents like they had in the good old days?’ many a Yank has lamented over the years. ‘Why aren’t Washington’s heirs more like Washington?’
And this is by no means exclusive to American presidents. As Alberta grieved Peter Lougheed a few months ago, it was tough not to look critically at the men and woman who’ve sat in his chair since 1985. And is there a Canadian who wouldn’t trade in our current and recent prime ministers for a John A. Macdonald, a Wilfrid Laurier or a Lester B. Pearson in a heartbeat?
There’s no doubt that rose-colored nostalgia is at work here – not to mention the fact that any leader’s four-year term could be summarized favorably in a couple of Wikipedia paragraphs. And leaders are unquestionably products of their times: there’s a lot more glory to be gained from building a great nation than from simply maintaining one.
But even if we acknowledge those points, it’s hard to shake the perception that today’s leaders don’t fill the shoes of their predecessors. And it’s a little disheartening.
Thankfully, there is no basis for us to feel this way when it comes to God.
The same God who created the universe continues to reign over it today. He hasn’t lost interest, and He hasn’t lost his way.
He’s not hamstrung by an out-of-date constitution or an un-co-operative legislature. He doesn’t have to appease a cynical, sensationalistic media. He didn’t have to make shady deals with special interest groups to gain power – and He doesn’t have to water down his ideology or compromise His principles to keep it.
Western democracies feel pretty good about the fact that our messy, imperfect systems strive to bring about justice and freedom for all our citizens. But our God invented justice and freedom – not to mention compassion, integrity and everything else that’s good.
The God whose Hand is on the steering wheel of Creation today is the same God who strolled with Adam and Eve in the cool of the day; the same God who appeared to Moses in the burning bush and parted the Red Sea. He’s the same God who took on Flesh and was baptized by John, crucified by Pilate and defeated the power of sin and death on the Third Day. The God of 2012 is also the same God who came at Pentecost like a rushing wind and tongues of fire – and met with Saul on the Road to Damascus.
He’s the same God who created you and me, and He’s the same God who knows every detail of your life and loves you anyway! And this Überpoobah of every corner of the entire universe wants nothing more than for you to love Him back.
Not in the way that a well-governed people loves its king, mind you. But in the way that a doted-on toddler loves her Daddy.
That’s right, folks. The King of the Universe is our Daddy. And there are definite perks that come with being the child of the King.
“The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.” – Romans 8:16-17
So the next time one you get disillusioned about the state of today’s political leaders, take comfort in the knowledge of Who’s really in charge. And who His heirs are.
Peace be with you.