Pundits love predictions and aren’t shy about making plenty of them. Whether or not they come true is often a fact lost in memory given the volume of them proffered.
One popular prognostication following Tuesday’s vote is that the electoral swing bodes well for a coming conservative revolution in 2022. Some have even suggested the entirety of the radical, socialist/Marxist agenda currently being debated hangs in the balance – a victim of voter revolt.
Or maybe not.
History may be on the side of a conservative reboot – political pendulums usually swing in midterm years. In fact, it’s become the norm, not the exception.
But history also suggests that political fortunes swing wildly and rapidly, especially in this age of 24/7 cable and social media saturation. A popular star one day quickly becomes a pariah the next. Favorability can even fluctuate between morning and evening based on a tweet or gaffe.
Yet, many of us live with a degree of complacency, assuming tomorrow’s problems and challenges will be an extension of today’s, minus some changes in names or the weather. In reality, our circumstances are in constant flux. Because of this, we’re actually not very good at predicting our own future let alone future elections.
Nobody saw a worldwide pandemic upending 2020. Only our worst nightmares could imagine the attacks of September 11, 2001. Those outliers nevertheless do not seem to deter many from assuming what is coming down the pike.
Scripture is sensitive to this tendency, which is why Solomon wrote, “Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring” (Proverbs 27:1). The writer of Ecclesiastes poetically observed, “He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has set eternity in the human heart, yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end” (3:11).
We just don’t know what is coming our way.
Obsessions of the radical left often take on the framework of Hollywood thrillers where the antagonist thought defeated suddenly reemerges due to some obscure twist of the story. We know it’s possible, but somehow convince ourselves it won’t happen – until it does.
Be warned: the radicals will never stop. They will never give up. Even today there are unchagrined leftist activists who are urging fellow radicals to go on the offensive. They contend their poor showing at the polls on Tuesday wasn’t due to the extremism of their positions – but to the fact they weren’t extreme enough.
As Christians, we hold to an enviable worldview. We care deeply about policies because they impact people – but we also know we’re to “not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let [our] requests be made known to God” (Philippians 4:6).
In the aftermath of an election, we must assess reality and keep working towards the realization of biblical ideals and issues that best support the family. We must not assume results one year will transfer to the next.
In plowing our path forward, we might adapt a quote attributed to Saint Augustine. It is timeless advice that holds up over 1500 years later, and which we might embrace as we turn our eyes to the months and years to come:
Pray as though everything depends on God – and work as though everything depends on God, too.
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