It is not difficult to see how many people in our country are currently in a state of anxiety as the 2008 presidential election season approaches its end. Americans have spent much time and energy fretting over who they will personally choose to solve their problems and secure their freedoms. As Orthodox Christians, we must never forget that Jesus Christ is the one who gives us the greatest freedom of all: the freedom of eternal life in His kingdom. We have a Savior that conquered sin, and no political “issue” or vote on a ballot is going to change that.
Whether or not to make an honest effort everyday to be like Jesus is a choice we have to make as Orthodox Christians. Americans have to make a decision as to whom they will trust to take actions that will influence their lives. We trust the president to use his power and authority to protect our nation, but it is imperative that we cannot forget that Christ is the ultimate protector of our lives and the only way to salvation. Just like a candidate is elected to office, we must more importantly personally elect Christ as the leader of our lives.
Although turning to God is the path we must take, our country still faces many difficulties that are easy to dwell on. We should pray that God will guide those whom are elected. When we begin to feel overwhelmed and those in office cannot ease our burdens, we should recall the Gospel from Matthew 6:33: “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” By placing God first in our lives as the real commander-in-chief, we assure ourselves that His Kingdom will prevail.
That is why it is sad to see so many Americans shed tears for the promises of the candidates. Unfortunately, they are going to be disappointed no matter what. They may be temporarily impressed or satisfied with a candidate’s accomplishments which are commendable, but Christ alone can bring the peace, love, mercy and inexpressible joy that their hearts yearn for.
Presidents and world leaders come and go. But in January 2009, when Orthodox across the nation turn on their TV’s to see the next president’s Inauguration Day, let it be a reminder that Christ is with us.
John Buscemi is a student journalist at Loyola University in Chicago.