The other night, I was working the "last channel" button on my TV's remote like a boss. The Penguins were busy losing to the Canadiens (more on this latter I'm sure, but how long is Johnston's job safe?) and the Democrats were debating. I have been marginally paying attention to this election season, so what follows are really just a surface reading of what I saw, admitting up front that I haven't been fully invested, so I may have missed some stuff. And also, without giving away too many spoilers, most of my political posts are less about politics and more about us as humans, so hold on to your resentment or anger or nasty comments for a bit if you don't mind.
Let's be honest, right now the Republican side of the ball is being dominated by one force:
It is all about Trump. This mystifies me. Anyone with half a political mind recognizes that his policies are half baked at best, and that he is ultimately a walking reality show. And yet for all the folks who were certain that his poll numbers were going to crater after the summer, he still sits on top of the pack across the Republican side, including some pretty substantial leads in some early voting states. Curious.
This in and of itself isn't so bad. What makes it ugly is that when I have watched the (hugely over-crowded) Republican debates, everyone is trying to be heard above the flash and noise of Trump, and so the debate turns into it's own kind of reality show. With another confession of channel surfing during both parties debates, I couldn't for the life of me tell you where any of the Republicans actually sit on the issues, save for one: they are not Donald Trump.
What I noticed the other night with the Democrats was that every time I turned back to their debate, I didn't hear them talking about each other. I heard them talking about policy. I heard them talking about issues. I heard them (embarrassingly) confess their lack of thought going into a vote. I heard substance, not flash. So again, you might not agree with one party or another, and you may have a problem with the substance. But with Trump in the race, it's hard to deny that one side of the political discussion in our country has folded into a reality show.
Again though, let's not make this about politics as such. Let's ask a question of you and I: In our daily interactions with people, are we flash, or are we substance? When it comes to our Christian faith, are we flash or are we substance? Are we doing whatever we can to be noticed, ratcheting up the shock value to bring in viewers, or are we speaking the truth in love, remaining faithful to the substance of our lives and faith? In my own life, I confess I am sometimes a bit too much Trump. I am showy. I am glitzy. I want people to like me. And the more and more I realize that, the more and more thirsty I am for substance. I want the real thing.
And of course for us, the substance boils down to just one name.
Come, Lord Jesus!