Thursday, May 5, 2011

Election Afterglow?

It depends on your political persuasion whether you are now basking in or bewailing the election. The electorate, polarized right or left, has left a sparsely populated centre. I have to assume that nearly 40% that didn’t vote are content to accept any result.

While I would prefer a greater voter turnout, an election is not a priority for many, reminding us that we can become too animated about the result. A pleasant drive to Calgary yesterday helped bring some balance.

We left Lethbridge early heading west, a bright rising sun behind us. The Rocky Mountains, in a fresh garment of snow, spread in fluorescent relief before us to north and south for over 100 miles, like a chain of frosted jewels draping the skyline.

I ruminated on the turbulent Trudeau years, the beginning of my Canadian history as a British transplant, to the recent fractious minority governments; on what has often been a bumpy ride between frustration and elation over the years.

But those mountains, solid and vast in their serene beauty stood firm long before my time and will remain long after I am gone. Despite my misgivings or hope for the future of Canada, this great country will continue to display its beauty despite its leaders’ political shenanigans.

I was reminded again of our unchanging Creator; “the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin” (Exodus 34:6-7).

Far more permanent, vast and trustworthy than even those mountains, a life sheltered in His care can ride out all the storms of this life, political or personal, we may encounter. And while we justly involve ourselves in the future direction of our country, our leaders will never be the final influence in our lives.

It is this assurance that places the events of this world into manageable perspective. The actions and attitudes of those who govern us will never be the ultimate focus of our lives, or guarantee of our future.

Monday, May 2, 2011

A Momentous Long Weekend

Well, this has been quite a long weekend: The enormous outpouring of Joy for that Friday wedding; the beatification of Pope John Paul with a million in attendance; Osama Bin laden brought to justice, and Canada’s Election Day today.

But I can top all that; today is my 75th birthday!

I doubt the occasion will have quite the worldwide attention of the other events, and I don’t expect many paparazzi camped on my doorstep. I do expect the fancy foods that mark birthdays will hinder my journey to optimum health and weight, and I recognize that I have passed my ‘best before’ date.

However, I’ve had my cancer and my heart attack and have a clean bill of health at this point. My father died at 79; his father at 93 (not 103, as I recently told a number of people), so I may have, on average, a few good years left. And at age of 75 I’ve found the comfortable rut I’ve been seeking all my life.

But today is especially an encouragement to persist in what I wish to accomplish, certain that God will not call me home until I have completed what He has ordained for me to do. I look forward to these glowing fall years with anticipation.

In our early married life, the scripture below, became a meaningful promise to me for several years. With the passage of time, it slipped my memory until I read it again during my devotions this past week. Not only was it a fresh encouragement, I realized that He kept his promise for the last 50 or more years.

Fifty years is a blip compared with eternity, but if He can keep his promises for our turbulent time on earth, He can certainly do the same while dwelling safely with Him for eternity.

"Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the LORD, who has compassion on you. Isaiah 54:10.