I was working on a different post (my favorite U2 songs) and started writing about “Where the Streets Have No Name.” As I wrote, and then watched U2’s Super Bowl halftime performance I was flooded with thoughts. I’m trying to write them down now but mostly I can’t shake the thought that no politician, no man, no woman, no Republican or Democrat, nor any government in the world can save us. It seems like (at least in an election year), we cast all our hopes and dreams on the person running for office… as if our future depends solely on him or her. Well, guess what? It doesn’t. No matter who gets elected, they can’t save you. They can’t save me.
The place where “the streets have no name” is Heaven, just to get that out there. To me, the song is about dropping our differences and longing to be in Heaven… with God… where being with Him is all that matters. But while we’re on earth we have differences with people. We disagree. We fight. We tweet. I’m guilty of all of it.
The current of division in America right now is strong because so many people think they are right and the other side is wrong. Having a media that plays up the division just for ratings doesn’t help, either. So often I just have to turn the news off and voilá, I’m calm. Take a look at the next newscast in your city… what colors are on the screen when they talk about the news? Coronavirus, voting issues, politics, these topics are often scripted in red or have red backgrounds. This is very much on purpose to remind us of fear, being scared, and ultimately maintaining unrest. OK, that’s a little bit of a side rant!
As I watched the U2 performance, I sighed because I miss the America we were in the weeks and months after the 9/11 tragedy. We were united. Surely on September 12th we still had political, faith, race, ethnicty, many differences but I don’t remember any of those mattering. In the weeks that followed the tragedy, people from all over were going to New York City to help clean up. People were donating blood. The heartbreaking events of that evil day out of us brought the best, and to the back burner we shuffled the rest.
I sincerely hope we can be there again but this time by choice. We don’t need evil people to remind us that we are all born with a desire to find good in the world. It’s in our broken nature to care for one another however we see that working. But I don’t really see that much right now, probably because it’s an election year. Politics seem to bring out the worst in us. A tweet from a woman I follow on Twitter said it so well:
If anything, watching the U2 performance and reflecting on the state of the union, I was also reminded of the lyrics of a song by The Avett Brothers:
Life doesn’t change by the man that’s elected…“Head Full of Doubt/ Road Full of Promise” The Avett Brothers
Sure some things go this way and other things go that way but like I said at first, no one can make you happy about your life. A Democrat gets elected? So what. A Republican gets elected? So what. How is my heart? How is your heart? If we’re waiting for a savior to come and preside over our great country, it’s not going to happen. People are flawed. We are messed up. But the good news is there IS a place we can go to fill the void we often try to fill with celebrities or politicians or protests or riots or boycotts or whatever. It’s not church. But the answer is often there. I’m talking about God. He’s been the answer for thousands (or millions, for all you evolutionists out there 😉 ) of years for all people in all circumstances.
I have placed my faith in Him and the One declared to be His son, Jesus. No matter what happens in politics, the ups and downs and the victories and heartaches, I’m SO glad my hope isn’t in the man or woman elected. My challenge to you today is to think beyond the differences you have with people. Think beyond the person we elect to lead our community, city, state, country. Ask yourself, and I will ask myself, too: What is it I’m hoping this person will fix in my life? And if the answer is anything besides taxes and better roads, let’s pray to God for that and give Him a chance to come through.
What do ya say?
-Out of the Wilderness