Truth For Every Season
The lyrics of September Song are enchanting: “Oh, it's a long, long while from May to December…But the days grow short when you reach September…When the autumn weather turns the leaves to flame…”
Once again summer is pulling its annual disappearing act. Autumn is prepared to stretch its wings in spectacular wonder; color is showing in some trees, with a promise of more blazing changes to come. Cool nights and crisp mornings have replaced the hazy days of August. Everyone is geared up for fall activities, with eyes already focused on the pumpkins and costumes of Halloween.
Schools are open. Parents have exhaled in delight while teachers took a deep breath in preparation for the challenges ahead. Hallways that were relatively quiet a month ago are now humming with conversation. Students of all ages are grumbling, but if you look real close you’ll detect a slight twinkle in their eyes. Their social calendars are full and anticipation swirls just below the surface of their everyday routine.
Politics As Usual
On the political front, senators and congressman have returned to Washington with gusto and fanfare, but little dignity. The argument over healthcare reform goes on and on and on, with plenty of red-meat hyperbole from all sides.
Any pretense of bipartisanship on behalf of citizens crumbled in the wake of party-line bickering. The rhetorical push and shove has all the charm of a jackhammer pounding away outside one’s window. The yak-yak-yak yada-yada-yada of the never-ending strategy to sway public opinion is grating in the extreme.
Games of one-upmanship never lose their appeal to politicians. Our representatives roam the corridors of power to supposedly do the people’s business, though I’m not quite sure what slicing and dicing baloney has to do with governing.
President Obama is neck deep in troubles with the tide rising fast. He is a good and decent man, but evidently ill-equipped or ill-prepared for the rancorous reality of Washington. He had, and perhaps still has, an opportunity to accomplish some beneficial goals, but to do so, he must demonstrate take-charge leadership. He’d do well to rip a page out of Teddy Roosevelt’s playbook.
Roosevelt was a populist conservative who managed to placate his right-wing base while at the same time taking them on and tacking to the political center where he governed with tremendous success. Obama is a populist liberal who appeases his left-wing base and is beholding to them; there is no indication that he has the cojones or gravel in his gut to confront them.
To have a successful presidency Obama must find the wherewithal to put the left-wing on notice and hang tough. He talks a good game about building bridges across political divides, but up to this point it has been nothing more than well-crafted speeches.
A question from the summer has been gathering heat in recent days: How is it that anyone who disagrees with President Obama on any front gets accused of being a racist? He is not being criticized for the color of his skin, but for the content of his policies. Contrary to the prevailing winds of opinion, it is possible to be opposed to his legislative agenda based on worldview or experience.
Those expressing legitimate opposition to the administration’s direction undergo a drive-by heart examination performed by pundits mostly concerned with generating higher ratings. The news/entertainment punditocracy have become professional agitators, stirring up the most contemptible instincts of human nature to secure their market shares. The tragedy is that people unwilling to critically think gobble up this race-baiting demagoguery because the mainstream media has an air of legitimacy that it may no longer deserve.
It is time to place dreary political observations in the circular file.
What really matters as summer and autumn overlap, is that in this ever-changing world with its shifting priorities, there is a never-changing continuity ordered by our Creator. God is sovereign; the universe unfolds according to his eternal purpose.
The intricate beauty of each seasonal transformation ought to cause even cynics to reflect on the marvelous mystery of life. A hymn-writer put it well: “Summer and winter, and springtime and harvest. Sun, moon and stars in their courses above. Join with all nature in manifold witness, to thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.”
Who paints leaves in breathtaking shades and hues? Who spreads dew across the morning landscape, turning it to frost when the days grow short? Who covers the earth beneath a wintry blanket that fashions the miracle of rebirth every spring?
The answer: Our Heavenly Father. And casting its long shadow over all creation is the cross of Calvary, which reconciles us to God. That, my friends, is the essential truth of every season.
- Wanted Man
Wanted Man a.k.a. Ken R. Abell, seeks to be a blessing to others. He's a rake, a rambler, and a teller of tales who understands that there is strength in a story well told and well lived. To learn more, inquire or schedule him, visit this web site.
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