One article will talk about how we can “make America great again.”
Another article will show why “making America great again” is not necessary since America “is” great.
In a crazy political season, it might help to watch the world through some helpful lenses you can try on today.
One lens is the lens of “current reality.” Some people do not want to face current reality. They turn their face from any of the atrocities of life, the marginalization of people, the unfairness in systems. They don’t have to “stop and smell the roses” because roses are all they ever smell.
Others are just the opposite. In their world there are no roses to smell. Everything is going down the tubes faster than I can write this article. Leaders are all corrupt. People cannot be trusted. There is a conspiracy behind every bush you walk by.
The other lens is the lens of “preferred future.” It is the future we want so bad we can see it. The right person is leading. All bills are paid. Equal opportunities for everyone. Life is like living next door to Beaver Cleaver.
In a biblical worldview the preferred future is called “shalom.” God’s peace. “Peace,” mind you, is not the absence of conflict. “Peace” is present when things are working as they are designed to work. Preferred future, especially God’s preferred future, can be seen most clearly bookending the Bible. In Genesis we see a Garden where everything is in harmony. In Revelation we see a “new heaven and a new earth” where there are no tears, no death, no mourning or crying or pain. Even the lion and the lamb can lie down together.
And here’s the problem. Some will paint such a good picture of current reality that they see no need for a preferred future. When this happens you will find apathy. There is no reason or motivation for change.
Some will paint such a bleak picture of current reality that regardless of the preferred future there is a loss of hope. Talk of “Doomsday” turns into gloomy days.
Political prospects have learned to use these lenses. They will tell you how bad the current reality is. And no wonder. Without telling you that you will not need to vote for them as the answer to all the problems that exist.
This paradigm is useful in other areas of your life. For instance, here’s how it works in a marriage. If one or both of the two who make up a couple think there is nothing in their marriage that needs to be improved, then there will be little or no effort given to move towards an even better place. On the other hand, if all they can see are the problems and they cannot envision a better future together then they will have little or no hope that would move them to action.
Looking through the lens of current reality and the lens of preferred future equally can bring your sight into focus. It can even help you listen for a candidate that you could invest a vote in. One that sees that current reality is not all bad but neither is it all good. One that can envision a preferred future that will take a country to an even better place than it has ever been in.
For those who are invested in the politics of heaven there is a clear preferred future. Along the way we can find joy in the journey as we see glimpses of “heaven on earth.” Not everything is as it should be. But not everything is bad. And we can have hope that there is a preferred future we are moving towards that will come into being.
Regardless of what happens in an election.
Question: How do you view “current reality”? Do you have a “preferred future” you are moving towards?