The Best of Times, The Worst of Times

So while most people see tomorrow as Election Day, in the McKinney family it is Dad’s third surgery day in 2016. Tomorrow they take tumors from his lungs. Difficult stuff in general, but in the man who has had virtually no health problems until the last year it is tough for us all. Each diagnosis makes you want to stomp your feet and say “This isn’t right!”

I have three friends who have just lost parents in the last couple of weeks (two in the last week). Earlier this year we lost two family members to suicide within a manner of months. I have friends and family members fighting cancer, depression, addictions, loss, and diseases that cause them to live in constant pain. All foot stomping worthy. It doesn’t seem right.

But tomorrow is another day in our lives. While so many talk about the gloom and doom, in this…the year of the worst events in my life to date…on a day when I could choose to live in fear, I choose peace. Living peace is an action over which I have control. And I also choose joy, too. Whatever the circumstances, I choose to live peacefully and joyously. Why wouldn’t I?

You can choose to live the precious moments of your life however you want, but are you really going to choose anger and bitterness and fear? I believe you are here for a reason. Why not instead excitedly anticipate what God will do with you these next four years? Build love. Practice obedience. Live with respect. God wants you to be more concerned about those things than any election or obsessing over any ruler. 

Even if you don’t believe in God, isn’t a choice to celebrate life better than to celebrate the woe that may never happen? Or maybe even celebrate in spite of woe? We’ve had a lot of presidents in my life, but none have ever robbed my joy. And as horrible as people have said each and every president has been (minor eyeroll), I have lived a great life throughout. I plan to continue. 

Regardless of the election results, I’ll respect the leader of my country for their office and pray for their success, even if I haven’t respected their human frailties and choices to date. When they are named president it is a new ballgame. They are my president.

But truly….while the election does interest me, tomorrow it is most important to me to see my dad come through his surgery with flying colors (it’s at 7 a.m., if you care to pray.) . That will be my victory. Nothing is more important than that. I hope there is something more important than politics in your life, too. Hug and love on your people. They are what’s important. Have you alienated a few folks in this political process? Get over it, restore the relationship, and bring back what’s important. It’s not politics.

I was reading a bit of Dickens the other day. Reminded me there is nothing new under the sun. 
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way–in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.” 
– from A Tale of Two Cities
There are a lot of highs and lows in life, but maybe everything isn’t a superlative. How much significance will this election have on your life? Time will tell, but possibly little. I agonized a bit over voting (which seems silly to me now) but once I did I felt relief. Like a dreaded test, it was done and I would accept fate. I really don’t care who wins. That is something I can easily deal with. My dad’s surgery? That outcome matters. He’s strong and I expect him to do well, but it is serious stuff…yet I am at peace. I will sleep tonight, and hopefully arise early enough to go to the hospital with them and wait as talented surgeons do their magic. And then we will coddle and nag and force him to do all that he needs to do to heal (we drive him crazy)…so we will all be able to enjoy his 84th birthday on November 17th. With peace. And joy. And love. And strength. That’s the life I choose. That will be a good day.

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