“It’s a long and rugged road, and we don’t know where it’s headed. But we know it’s gonna get us where we’re going.” – The Wailin’ Jennys
It’s been a hard year. It was almost exactly a year ago when I was in Washington, DC secretly meeting with a very prominent public figure and asking them to run for President. They said no. You can read that story here if you’d like. Over the course of this year I’ve been through a lot of change. And I’ve watched our country go through enormous change. Many say Donald Trump is just a symptom of much deeper, longer-term struggle in our nation. That may be true. But actually electing him was a significant change in our country no matter your feelings about it.
I’m one example of a life dramatically changed simply because of an election. I quit my job as the CEO of a very successful and honorable company so that I could pursue finding an independent candidate to run for president. I put my livelihood and the well-being of my family on the line. I say that not for pity or admiration. I simply point out that there are many stories out there of people who, over the past year (many post-election) are re-thinking how they live, where they put their efforts and energy professionally and politically and asking, “what can I do to advance the good in our nation?”
I’ve never liked the label #NeverTrump. It was never about that for me. I was always opposed to both nominees. And my driving motivations were always about my optimistic belief that our country had so much better to offer. It’s always been about a long-term journey and core convictions. I could not let my fellow citizens and our friends around the world watch our election and see no signs of principled people making principled stands for basic standards of decency, kindness, truth and humility. The 2016 election was completely devoid of these basic human values.
So as I reflect on the past year on this, the National Day of Prayer, I offer this simple prayer, inspired by the Wailin’ Jennys:
Father, We confess our many sins as a nation.
We ask for your mercy.
Father, we confess we cannot get it right on our own.
We ask for your grace.
Father, we need more of your love on earth as it is in heaven.
We ask for your love to be manifest through those who love you, to one another.
Give us the grace to travel on, even as some days we eagerly await our arrival at the destination.
We place our trust in you and have faith that the journey we are on, however rugged it may feel, is worth it.