Politicians never prepare you for what lies ahead. Having survived the rhetoric of a recent election, I have little confidence in the future. From the speeches, publications, and conferences you could easily assume everything will be smooth, painless, and good news. If one listened, seeking to go beyond the surface platitudes, you could find a myriad of wicked problems and conundrums with no answers. The scope and breath of the challenges facing England today are enormous. Heath care, education, immigration, taxes, and jobs are merely the stuff at the beginning of the list! When I ask, few think there are any answers. Many don’t even expect those in power and responsible for “our” solutions to have a view.
I understand the problem of telling the truth. Nobody likes bad news. We have a tendency, natural, to kill messengers. So why bring up the bad stuff? Why confront what you don’t have an answer for? Is there a reason to raise the alarm, cause people to worry, and openly talk about the difficulties of life? There is one bit of logic which legitimizes the reasons for confronting what may be not solved. Unless you acknowledge the problem you will never begin to legitimately deal with it. Unless you legitimately deal with it there is no chance of a lasting solution.
I like lasting solutions. I like action filled with hope. I like to live knowing that we are moving towards something potentially better than what we have. This means I like real life! Real life isn’t coated with sugar and platitudes. It is the stuff the blues are written about. It is the stuff full of pain, angst, and heart ache. It is messy, ugly, and beautiful, all at the same time. I’d love a politician to say “I've told you these things to prepare you for rough times ahead.” (John 16.1) And then give me a plan for the future.
Take a long and hard look in the mirror. Buried in the aged lines, sadness, and pain is a heart ready to make a difference, yours.
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