Politics is currently depressing. After yet more blatherings from people who demonstrate a self-confidence far in advance of the evidence of their efforts in public office, I confess myself unusually low about the prospects of progress. The age of soundbites cuts the throat of intelligent discourse; volume outweighs substance.
Where are the outstanding candidates for office? People of good character, a moral compass, a servant heart? Cynicism tars all politicians with the same brush, but that is unfair. It is also difficult to avoid. Self-promotion and naked ambition are encouraged because they make good stories for the media and satisfy a public attuned to Twitter. Minimum syllables and catchy slogans are used to judge matters that require deep thought and rational debate. It does not bode well for sensible government.
I was looking at the Book of Proverbs this morning and found some apt advice for anyone who dares to read it and put it into practice. Proverbs 27:2 (NLT) “Let someone else praise you, not your own mouth- a stranger, not your own lips.”
“Image” is overrated. Reality has a way of disclosing itself eventually: and what is in a person’s character will be revealed in time. Proverbs 27:19 (NLT) As a face is reflected in water, so the heart reflects the real person.
I found hope in two places. First, in taking a photograph of this beautiful lily- colour, perfume, the signs of its purpose- and secondly in familiar words from Psalm 136. The continual refrain of this ancient prayer-song is a strong statement of confident hope. Whatever else may be in life, God’s faithful love endures forever.
I think some time meditating on this psalm will be a tonic for the soul. Using this psalm’s confident hope as a basis for prayer reminds humanity that there IS a God, who is GOOD, and who cares deeply about justice and compassion, truth and mercy. And it reminds us to pray for those who seem to be ignoring God yet think themselves fit to lead others.
Today is a great day to remember to be thankful to God: His faithful love endures forever.