Around this time three years ago, three men showed up at my home to threaten my family and me for not supporting President Trump. I had only recently come home from an extended stay in the hospital after nearly dying from clots in my lungs. My wife was preparing for surgery that would confirm she has a form of lung cancer for which there is no known cure. Our children were getting bullied at school because of their dad’s political views. They would, soon after these men showed up at our house, get yelled at in a store by a man who wanted them to know their father was destroying the country by not backing a man for President.
I have to tell you, it is not always easy to withstand the pressures to conform and the siren calls of acceptance. My family has struggled. We still struggle. But in struggling through the ups and downs of life, I am more aware now than I once was that my faith has too often conformed to my politics instead of my politics conforming to my faith. These past few years, I have worked very hard to rectify that at the price of both career and friends. I do not always get it right, but it more often than not has made me realize how way too many people are too invested in insignificant things. I have become aware how too often we seek praise from others and seek to generate praise from the crowd. I have, over the last three years, realized just how impossible it is to please the world and how we should ignore more people and show more grace.
People spend inordinate amounts of time seeking salvation in idols. In at most six years, Donald Trump will not be President of the United States. All but one of the Democrats challenging him will become former presidential candidates and even the last one standing may not beat him. But historically the odds are that, after Trump, a Democrat will get elected. They cycle will repeat itself.
There are no permanent campaigns. There are no permanent political dynasties. Everything is changing. Nothing stays the same. So many of us get invested in the insignificant things that change, fade, and disappear. There is only one thing that grows ever stronger and comes ever closer and is both immutable and eternal.
We should probably reassess our priorities. We spend this week celebrating, mourning, and commemorating a sacrificial love that rode into Jerusalem to cheers only to, by weeks end, suffer the jeers of the crowd and the torment of captivity and execution. But even through this week, all of us will still focus on politics, sports, and other things. By next week, we will look to a different holiday or vacation day or event or news story. The Easter celebration will be forgotten as we go back to finding our salvation in earthly things.
But we won’t find our salvation there. Salvation will not come through zealously championing candidates or causes. We will find no eternal peace in our checking account or our job. Jesus Christ is the only one who can give us that. This week, perhaps we can spend a few minutes reprioritizing. Politics should matter less. Family should matter more. Eternity should matter most.
Our temporal squabbling is temporary and even though there are those around us who think they will find salvation there or bring heaven to earth with their cause, they will not and neither will we. So those of us who long for the eternal king should not act like those who think eternity is theory and the here and now is everything.