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Monday, February 20, 2017

The Hardest Job in the World

Today is a Presidents Day holiday. We honor the men who have served our nation over its history. Of course, we used to celebrate the birthdays of Lincoln and Washington in February. But now we have a day to celebrate all of them. Right? Wrong.

Today there will be “rallies” in several cities across these not-so United States dishonoring our current President. NBC News carried the story about “Not My President’s Day” and the gatherings planned in places like Los Angeles, New York, Sarasota, Dallas, Washington D.C, Chicago, and Grand Rapids. What?? Grand Rapids??

Yes, of course. This would likely be in response to the president selecting Betsy Devos as the Education Secretary. The powerful (and often dictatorial) teachers unions are not pleased with Betsy. And other groups don’t like some of the other Cabinet selections. This goes with the job of the president. As if we would support ALL the selections made by any president.

The NBC story tells us that the “Not My President's Day” rally in Chicago will be different from a few of the other rallies. Folks in our city will supposedly be focused on just one message: unity. Laura Hartman, the Chicago rally coordinator, explained it this way: “We want to fight the entirety of the administration,” she said. Now that’s “unity” for you!

Laura should remember that enough Americans voted for the man in the Oval Office today to make him president. As was pointed out in a talk show segment recently, the great divide in politics today didn’t start in the last election. This has been a pretty strong trademark of voting results all throughout my lifetime. And I’m sure before that.

All that to say that being the president truly seems to be one of the most complex and difficult jobs on the planet. I’m not sure if there is a tougher one. Look how our presidents age during their time in office.

The various roles a president must serve are dizzying. He (or she when we elect a woman to serve) is a true “chief.” This includes:
  • Commander in Chief of the military 
  • Chief Diplomat over foreign affairs
  • Chief Executive, heading up all agencies in Washington
  • Counselor/Pastor in Chief, to bring hope to a hurting country
  • Chief Visionary, to take us forward to new heights

Along with these roles, the president sets any new policies in motion, through directives, and impacts legislation he wants passed. Our leader must also represent his political party well. As I said, it makes for a tough job description!

Critics have the easy job. They always do, compared to the one in the White House. Protestors can walk away from the real challenges.

Jesus of Nazareth came to earth with the toughest assignment of all! He arrived with a winning message, with a job description to sacrifice Himself! Did He make a difference?

This is what He told the disciples of John the Baptist, “Go back to John and tell him what you have seen and heard—the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised to life, and the Good News is being preached to the poor. (Luke 7:22, NLT)

Despite that, He was despised by the leaders of His day. And the crowds shouted, “Crucify Him!” Which they did. There has been no other life like His. But He stayed on mission.

I’d like to see the protests and rallies over the new administration cease. Instead, preach a true message of unity. Perhaps a renewed commitment to President John F. Kennedy’s admonition: “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.”

Amen. And happy Presidents Day.

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Let’s Talk with Mark Elfstrand can be heard weekdays from 4-6 PM Central. To listen outside the Chicago area, tune to for live streaming or podcasts, or download the AM1160 app.  

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