Let his days be few and brief; and let others step forward to replace him. - Psalm 109:8
Late in the summer of 2007, I was a broken man. The marriage that had defined me for so long lay crumbling at my feet and for the first time in my life, I felt completely powerless. There was no fight left in me. I wasn’t even sure who my opponent would be if I did choose to fight. I prayed. I prayed hard, just as many of us do when the pressures of our time on earth seem to weigh more than our frail bones can support. I prayed that God would somehow step in and deliver what my wife and I were seemingly incapable of delivering to each other. I prayed that God would return the love and the admiration that had led us to marriage in the first place.
I understand your confusion. I understand why you may be sitting there assuming I just made a typo, but I assure you that I meant what I said. My prayer was answered. See, God doesn’t always answer the prayers that we pray with our mouths because He doesn’t hear those prayers through the ears of a man. In other words, the answers we receive are often not the answers for which we prayed. In my case; I prayed for a reconnection to my wife but what I received was the answer to the prayer I should have been praying. I received freedom from the separate path my life had taken from that of my wife. I was granted a relationship with my son that would not have been possible in the home for which I blindly prayed. God answered my prayers by giving me a home where I had only had a house. I received a love my ex-wife is simply not capable of delivering, and in return I’m able to give the kind of love my ex-wife ran from. The path I was set upon with the pounding of that gavel is so much better than the one for which I prayed. The life I now live is infinitely better than the one I “lost” yet my prayers were prayed with the self-serving desires of a man.
Our country is in a similar predicament right now. We’re praying for the defeat of Barack Hussein Obama in November. Many of us, myself included, pray for an extremely lopsided statement when the votes are all counted. We pray for the defeat of a man. Obama has become the face of our resentment. He has become the enemy in our prayers of protection. He has become the illness in our prayers of health. He has become the threat in our prayers of safety, but for what are we actually praying? Respect. We’re really praying for respect.
America has been slapped in the face by the popularity contest that has taken over our once great government. We have lost a lot of the respect around the world that once made us so enviable. Our prayers are that the respect once given to the United States by the rest of the globe be restored. We don’t want it to be restored because of our might. We’ve seen where those attempts have gotten us. We don’t want the world to respect us because of our ability to destroy, but rather for our ability to contribute. We pray that the world can once again respect the uniquely American freedom to dream, design, develop, and deliver our ideas through the intense scrutiny of our equally unique free market. We pray that the rest of the world respect our unique history, not at the expense of their own but as a complement to it. We pray that the rest of the world respect our sovereignty and let go of the belief that America is dependent upon them.
We pray that respect for our government be restored, both inside and out. Men and women were once proud to say that they worked for the Federal Government, not embarrassed. I would personally rather tell someone that I get paid to sponge-bathe Ruth Bader Ginsberg than to ever tell them that I work for the GSA, but it wasn’t always like that. Federal employment can once again become something worthy of pursuit, not a position guaranteed by union loyalty. Obama’s presidency has cast an incredibly bright light on the fact that American politics have become a popularity contest as opposed to the board meeting they should be. The prayers that we are praying are for the defeat of Obama but what we’re really asking for is someone who will respect the office of President of The United States of America more than they respect themselves. We’re praying for someone who will stand in awe of the office. Someone who will treat the office as if it is not his to lose. We want someone who will treat that office as if any disrespect shown to it is disrespect to each and every citizen under its scope, not just to the man sitting behind its Resolute Desk. We’re praying for someone who will wake up every day with a passion and a drive to make America great, regardless of ideology. We’re praying for someone who can truly make the President worthy of respect.
We’re praying that our next President will respect the American people enough to treat them like equals, not underlings or subordinates. We’re praying for a President who respects America’s ability to defeat any failure. One who respects the fact that America’s unique freedom and determination enhance our chances of greatness. We pray for a President who acknowledges our Faith as more than an antiquated tradition and respects the guarantees that Faith provides.
Prayers will be answered in November but the real question is whether or not we will recognize them. Some of those prayers may have already been answered. Are we smart enough to recognize them if they aren’t answered exactly as we prayed? Are we smart enough to realize that Obama is just the face of a much bigger opponent? Can we look past selfish interests, revenge fueled hatred, and ideological indignation long enough to define the often mentioned “greater good.” It’s more than just a clever, emotion sparking catch-phrase. The greater good would have signed off on the Keystone Project. The greater good would not have cared about the American Burying Beetle, and they sure as heck wouldn’t have given away thousands of jobs so that Warren “Buffet-Rule” Buffett could continue transporting oil on his trains as long as Warren “Buffett-Rule” Buffett went out in public saying he wanted to pay more taxes. America deserves better than what we’ve allowed ourselves to become.
The prayer we should all be praying is that we be allowed to show the world we are still worthy of their respect. We should be praying for the chance to live in an America where more pride is taken from the job than the paycheck.
The verse at the beginning of this article prays that “others” will step up and replace “him.” Notice it didn’t say “another” but rather “others.” The prayers God intends to answer will not be done through one man or one candidate. The prayers God intends to answer will be done through ALL of us…..even those who feel as though they have “lost” on November 7th. No matter who sits in the Oval Office, we’re all still Americans and it’s time we start respecting what that means.
As always, thanks for playing…..and praying.
J Robert Giles