Monday, September 8, 2008

The Heart of a Giant

Saturday Morning…
Saturday’s surprise was delightful. There standing on my front porch was something that was almost as wide as it was tall. It was Yellow and Black in colour and moved quickly to confront me…then it hit me mid section and pushed me backwards. I pushed hard and tried to stop it from getting past me – but I had to work at it hard to stop this new apparition.

If this was a quiz I would run out of hints before you would guess the correct answer.

The Yellow and Black colours are the colours of the “Steelers” Football Team – which is part of the Kinsmen Youth Football League for kids up to Grade 8. The “thing” that is a wide as it is tall – is Emma – dressed with her Football uniform on wearing her brother’s Team Jersey. She is really into it.

The first practice day had enough for two teams of 8 & 9 year olds. There were 4 other girls as well that have joined in the first day along with Emma.

When this first shot was taken I asked her to “look as mean” as she could. (It kind of looks like the way she looks at her older brother sometimes.)
I was just a little bit proud of this Little Giant in front of me. She is willing to take on something so non traditional and really get into it. What a gal. And when she shoved on me on our front porch she meant business as she tried to get past.

I thought about her a lot yesterday. I thought about her attitude and her willingness to get involved in the struggle that would eventually mean her team would win. It would be an immense effort of her part to stop the opponent and move forward. It would be team work that would make it happen. It will mean keeping all the young shoulder side by side and pushing ahead.

Sunday Morning…
Sunday’s early announcement didn’t catch anyone in Canada off guard. For about two weeks we had known that it would probably take place Sunday morning. The Media had speculated about this and leaders had hinted regularly. Our Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced that he is calling for an election on October 14th in Canada.

Immediately the country is now entering a flurry of the News Media being salted with announcement after announcement from one political party after another. For 37 days we will hear over and over again why we should vote for one person, one party or one ideal over another. Our countries weaknesses as well and the weaknesses of the other leaders will be pointed out by the leader that is caught on video at that moment. It will become a virtual circus for all to watch.

The News Media announced yesterday that the different political party’s “War Rooms” were now ready. Meaning of course that the people leading each party and all their advisors were now in a steady stream of conferences behind closed doors to strategize how they would get their message out to Canadians and how they would effective nullify their opposition.

In our Canadian political case, the opposition to any party is coming in at least four directions – three other political parties and the Media. The Media in Canada is a formable force in that each kind/each media corporation takes to backing one party or another and opposing the other parties.

So think for a moment what it would be like to be in a “War” – or maybe a Football Game that you had not only one opponent but four. Which way would you fight back in that game? Which way would you push forward? No wonder they need a “War Room”!

For those that wonder at my guesstimate of four opposition parties take a look at our present leadership folk
Stephen Harper – Leader for the Conservatives
Stéphane Dion – Leader for the Liberals
Jack Layton – Leader for the NDP (New Democratic Party)
Elizabeth May – Leader of the Green Party of Canada
All the News Media forms/companies – representing the TV, Print Media and the individual reporters…

It will take the Heart of a Giant to win this new battle announced on last Sunday AM. The amazing part will be the way that the new announcements will be released in different areas of the country – timed perfectly and planned precisely. It will be a wonder if some hidden secret or scandal doesn’t break in one of the weeks to discredit one of the oppositions – or weaken a strong point. Vulnerability is what it is all about – and using their vulnerability to your advantage is the key to winning.

I am a spectator not a participant at this stage. I watch and wait for the next announcement. I am ready to help with prayer not party stuff. In fact I am best at supporting everyone.

Alida and I don’t do “Lawn Signs” declaring our preference of one person over another. If I had one it would say, “I vote for God” – but not enough people know Him and His name is likely only used occasionally in different ways than I use his name. That’ll likely happen a few times over these next few weeks.

I am now committed to pray for the people that are involved in the “War Rooms” more than ever. They will be tired and stressed. Their personal relationships at home will be stretched beyond imagination. Their children will be subjected to stress that other kids are not.

Think about the families as Dad or Mom is not home now for the next 37 days. And if they are home they are constantly on their telephones for the next instructions as to where to be and when to be there; as to what to say and not say; what to feel and show feelings on and what not to…. Think of the staff of each politician that may lose their jobs if their boss is not elected.

Someone needs to support all of them.

That is what I do as a Chaplain to the Leadership of Ontario – and Canada. I pray for them all – wherever they are and whatever they are doing.

Some have asked me – “How can you do that? How do you know what to pray for and when?”

Well remember that one Opposition Group – the Media? They help me all the time. They give the name and the issue, the place and the time, the problems that are being presented and then the Individual’s response. How they give it to me usually has a slant to it – their Media’s slant.

I immediately think of all that the person is and where they come from. I think of their family, their relationships and their whole person. I wonder what it would be like to be in their shoes right at that moment – then I pray, “God wherever “Jane” or “John” is right now bless them with your power and presence. Let them know that you care for them and that I care too. And Lord if it is within your plan let me talk to them personally someday – to deliver the message that I have prayed for them. Thanks God – I know you will do all that and more!”

Try to put yourself in their shoes today. Imagine that for at least the next 37 days – two thirds of all Canadians could be “hating” you because of your political beliefs. Well maybe not “hate” you – they just don’t trust you at all – because you belong to a political leadership of some form. Your partner at home loves you but these people around you don’t.

How does that feel when you put that feeling on?

Now consider that same person that is told by maybe just one person that they have been prayed for today… rather than hated. Do you think it would make a difference?

I have witnessed that very reaction at a “God Moment” with one of my Ontario leaders. They smile from ear to ear and say deeply, “Thanks Murray that means more than you can ever know.”

Gotta run… lots to pray for today. God has called and wants me in his “War Room” for a while this morning. We have got to get ready for what is coming today.

~ Murray Lincoln ~

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