Don’t let my current manly physique fool you, the truth is I wasn’t much of a fighter as a boy. I was in one scuffle (if you can call it that) in my school years. This “Battle Royale” was not a remake of the “Thrilla in Manila” nor did it take place in Madison Square Garden. It was in Mr. McNulty’s 8th grade math class at Radcliffe Junior High School. My opponent was a big, moose of kid name, John Bird. If I ate a big lunch and had a lot of quarters in my pockets I might have weighed 80 pounds. Look up the word “mismatch” in the dictionary and I think there is still a picture of the classic John Bird vs. Rob Prince showdown.
Here’s what happened: I may have made some smart aleck remark to young Mr. Bird. I think the comments revolved around his lack of academic achievement and I may or may not have call him a “Bird brain.” Surprisingly and swiftly, Mr. Bird took exception such comments and proceeded to smack me silly.
The scrum didn’t take long. He hit me. I hit the floor. End of fight. This was not a David and Goliath remake. One punch and I was out for the count. Mr. McNulty quickly intervened and sent us to the principal’s office where the matter was resolved. I promised to not refer to John as a “Bird Brain” and he promised to not pound me into the 21st century. While John never invited me to his house for crumpets and tea following that encounter, we did experience a bit of détente and mutual respect. It didn’t take long for us to have conversations, to joke and laugh and have life get back to normal.
Why remind you of my eighth grade mismatch? Simple, our nation has just come through a tough electoral fight. No punches were thrown by the candidates but it was a national brouhaha. Moving forward we won’t be sending either candidate to the principal’s office (maybe we should), but for the good of the country we need to find solutions to our differences. There is truth to Jesus’ wisdom: If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand (Mark 3:25). We must be the UNITED States.
Unity is achieved by listening to a few other things that Jesus said like:
Love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:39). Even if your neighbor didn’t vote like you did.
Love your enemies (Matthew 5:44). Even if they really, really didn’t vote like you.
Seek first the kingdom of God (Matthew 6:33). Seek his glory! Not your glory. Not Republican glory or Democrat glory. Seek His Kingdom and His glory… FIRST!
Clearly our nation is divided. The election process has revealed many systemic problems, deep hurts and huge differences that exist between people who call themselves Americans. For our nation to be healed and one, we need to start listening to our neighbor, loving them and in all things becoming more and more like Jesus.
Pray for America.
Pray that God would use you to help in the healing.
And Love… your neighbor, your enemy and love this land in which we live.