the David tree
With all this talk of politics, Kendra's comments, switching parties and future runs for office, and some other big thoughts going through my head I've gotten somewhat retrospective......or melancholy......and maybe it is just the weather.
In general terms I have referenced a turning point in my life at the end of 2006 and how it involved politics and faith. I'm going to put myself out there in this so that folks fresh to the site, maybe even Kendra, can better understand my thoughts on politics.
For about 18 months I planned a campaign to run for mayor of river city. At the time I was a sitting R councilman who admittedly did not toe the party line because of deep personal convictions. I am as conservative if not more conservative than any other R party holder locally, and certainly so in terms of social norms (ie: the purpose christians call themselves R's). I did everything right in creating a campaign-talked to the right people, lined up party support, assuage fears, putting together a team, etc.. But the big guys knew I wasn't going to be a yes man, so, regardless of my republican"ness"......they pulled the rug out from under me a month before I planned to announce and got a member of my team to run. I was furious-and it showed.
I fasted and prayed like never before, but I was just numb and angry at God for putting a desire in my heart I thought was a "calling" and then had unethical men sabotage it. Why would God let that happen? The answer came in a book called "Tale of Three Kings" in which I saw a humble and broken David, while a calling on his life to be king, allowed God to work it in His time.
I've touched on this before, but I've never mentioned "the David tree". I don't believe in searching for signs, I really don't. I believe God gives us wisdom to make decisions. But, in the midst of reading this book and fasting and trying to make a decision on whether or not to still run knowing what kind of campaign would be had, I found myself on my folks' property in the "circle of trees" as we called it.........searching for God. After about an hour on a cold November Saturday, the 11th, as I sat on a stump and listened to the wind blow through the reed grass and watching it bob up and down.......something caught my attention.
At the east side of the circle I noticed a strange formation in a tree. Keep in mind, in nearly 35 years of playing and camping in this small wooded circle, I had never noticed this. I walked over to it and realized two large branches on this oak grew together. I only thought it strange I hadn't noticed it before. I went back and spent another hour thinking and praying. As I left the circle, the path took me passed the tree again and this time I looked up and saw the sun shining directly through the form created by the branches. It formed a perfect D.
And that got me thinking.....hmmmmmm......"Do run"? "Don't run"? I was amusing myself with the D possibilities when I finally landed on "Democrat"? God, you want me to run as a Democrat? I highly doubted that at the time. I got back to my folks and was pouring a cup of coffee when it struck me......"David".......God, you want me to be like David. And so I decided not to run for mayor-because what I had become politically could not bring honor to God.
And once I made that decision, my eyes began to open to the world of politics around me. There are unethical men who run our local R party. Winning elections for them has nothing to do with being conservative, being moral or having integrity. I'm not saying it is any better on the other side, but since I call myself Republican-it is my own party I have to resolve myself to. I'm not even suggesting that they should have the ethics I adhere to, for them it is politics and "all is fair in love and war". I can't operate like that.
This is what I believe. I don't care if you call yourself an R or a D. But, if you call yourself a Christian, you had better have a good grasp of who you are voting for and why. In the YEARS I listened to Rush Limbaugh, I cannot think of anytime in his dialogue I ever, EVER, saw the person of Christ being modeled. I'm not saying he should-but don't confuse a calling to live for Christ with a responsibility to vote republican. I could write a book on this, and this is already too long, but, I tell you from personal experience to live for Christ, if that is your goal, is to embrace the teachings of Christ which you will find contradict planks in both parties.
So, a future run or switching parties.....I don't know what awaits. My deepest desire, even after losing my primary to stay on council, has been to help people. I believe my gifts and abilities lend themselves to do that in the public arena.....but, I have to do that in loving my neighbor first and foremost.