Be careful what you wish for. That's what.
We went to see "Brave" last night. I liked the title and Chris thought it would be cute. It was okay. But the message rang loud and true that we need to be thankful for what we have.
Egypt, Libya and Tunisia toppled their dictators. Yemen changed its President. Syria is trying to do the same. I was not a fan of any of those leaders - no more than I was of Saddam Hussein. But be careful what you wish for, especially in the realm of politics.
Remember the landslide won by Obama almost four years ago. Now many Americans are wishing for something new. Better. Something or someone to rescue them from these tough times. It's an understandable emotion and a completely logical one. Only problem - the new thing usually isn't any better than the old thing.
Most the Egyptians who led the revolution that started a year and a half ago are now disgruntled. Even the Muslims - they didn't necessarily want a Muslim Brotherhood leader. They wanted something new. Better. Someone honest with integrity. A savior. Don't we all.
It's a fine line between revolution and thankfulness. Because sometimes change is needed. When do we stand up and fight against abortion or other evils? Do we simply be "thankful" that America is a land of freedom? Even free choice? Or do we fight for something better? And what is "better?" Less freedom? A Christian Theocracy?
Of course we would say "What's better is the right thing. The moral choice. Freedom to love God. That's what's better." True. And that is better. But can we vote that in to place? Is that in the realm of revolution to fulfill? Can we picket and fight for that? The Egyptians were sure trying to. The Syrians want what's "right" and they are fighting and dying for it. But will it work?
What if Jesus was on to something bigger than our personal spirituality when he said things like "Love your enemies" or "do good to those who persecute you." What if those WERE political statements? They sure must have felt political at the time!
What if the ethics of Jesus (like Matthew 5-7) were not just personal - but national? How would that change our views of current politics locally and internationally? What if we read the Sermon on the Mount and replaced what we've always thought was the implied "I" with "the nation." Read "America" into these statements:
Do not judge.
You've heard it said and eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, but I tell you - love your enemies.
Take the log out of your eye before you take the speck out of the others' eye.
Do not worry.
Be salt and light.
All the Beatitudes
What if these were for nations not individuals as we assume? And we are called to be thankful for our individual status, and be revolutionary as a nation in the sense that Jesus was a revolutionary.
And we called other nations to that sort of revolution. What if we are called to be Brave....as in "thankful." That may require the most Bravery of all.....
webmaster's note: I also saw the movie with my wife and highly recommend it.