It’s the question we tend to ask each other days and years after a historic event. Sometimes we quietly reminisce on the anniversary of an event. We’ll try to remember, or perhaps sometimes forget.
So, where was I? Sitting on a chair in one of the offices surrounded by a small group of friends and co-workers, looking up at an old TV/VCR on a shelf, watching the swearing in of President Obama.
(Oh yes. I failed to write an Election Day blog, so this is to make up for that very un-American blunder.)
I guess there have been six elections in my lifetime maybe? I’m not sure, but this is the first time I’ve ever watched an Inauguration. For one thing, pomp and circumstance and ceremonies seriously bore me. I hate awards shows of any kind, I barely stayed focused through my own college graduation, and I’m pretty sure on my wedding day I’ll lean over to the preacher or somebody at some point and whisper, “Um, can we, like, hurry this up a little?” (okay, maybe not, but I sure don’t want it to go on and on forever.)
But as it has been said over and over since Day 1, this was a historic day in American history. It doesn’t matter who you voted for or even if you could vote… there is no denying that something big was happening in Washington D.C. today.
Of course, in case you haven’t heard (tongue in cheek? Hear that? :)), this is our first African-American President. That’s huge. Just hearing my parents talk about how not that long ago there were segregated laundromats in my little Florida hometown still amazes and saddens me.
But there’s another thing I recognized much later as I read Rick Warren’s prayer. There was a line that really struck me: “today, we rejoice… in America’s peaceful transfer of power for the 44th time.”
Read that again. Peaceful transfer of power. 44 times.
How many nations can say that? When you think of it that way, every Inauguration seems like something really special, something really worth celebrating.
This is nowhere near a perfect country. There are a lot of broken things. But there are a lot of things to be proud of too, and I don’t know about you… I’m really glad I live in a place where the passing of power doesn’t tend to come with bloody revolution attached.
I did not vote for our new President, and I’m still iffy on a lot of his ideas. I was neither thrilled nor depressed on November 4th. But I am so very grateful I live in a country where I had the chance to cast my vote, and I will pray for him… that he’ll be safe, make the right decisions, seek wise council, and lead the nation well in a way that is worthy of the title. For a Christ-follower, that’s not a nice idea… it’s more like a requirement.
I hope you will pray for President Obama, his family, all of our leaders, and the whole nation as well. Hope and pray for the best and “as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”
It could change the world. It’s the only thing that ever has.