Where there is no vision...
"... the people perish" Proverbs 29.18
Earlier in the week we witnessed the most unedifying "debate" between the two presidential hopefuls, Donald Trump and Joe Biden. Today we wake to the news that one of them has coronavirus. While praying for Donald Trump and first lady Melania a full and swift recovery, one despairs for the future of the world's leading democracy. Rather than a competition of ideas, the rivalry going into perhaps the most important election of recent times, has sunk to the depths of personal animosity. Is this the best the mighty USA can offer: two old men in a verbal slanging match?
The political scene closer to home is not much more impressive. While our senior politicians jostle with each other to look presidential (in the old fashioned sense), their junior colleagues continue to behave recklessly. And every now again Brexit pops its ugly head over the parapet! All the while, pace the heroic efforts of David Attenborough and those of his ilk, the more pressing issues of climate change, modern slavery and wealth inequality are swept aside.
The Bible features searing indictments on the privileged classes for their failure to lead effectively and by example. God will hold to account those who abuse their power, who squander gifts and opportunities, who ignore the needs of the poor in favour of their own comfort. And that includes all of us!
We get the leaders we deserve. Is it any wonder that the public discourse is so unedifying, when popular culture is saturated with banal entertainment, the lust for cheap goods and the preference for personal space over community spirit? We hear much about "building back better", yet the evidence is that society craves "more of the same". If we really are "all in this together", then how we emerge is down to all of us and each of us. The future is too important to leave to others. We owe it to our families, our neighbourhoods and our fellow creatures and, ultimately, we shall have to give an account to God himself...
Time to take responsibility for what we can change and pray into what we cannot. If fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, then what is God requiring of me today? And, as I look forward, how can I adjust my ambitions and expectations so that, rather than raping the world's resources, I tread lightly and leave the place as I found it or, preferably, better?
Lord, forgive me - and everyone - for the mess we have made.
Renew our appreciation for the good intentions you have for us and for everyone and everything you have made
as we find them in your written word.
Quicken our faithful response through the power of the Holy Spirit, so that your living word grips our life
and dominates our horizon.
Gu glòir d' ainm...