If The Worst Should Happen! (by Rev. Dr. Eric Smith)

(My feelings overwhelm and my thoughts run amok, but the words are not flowing as of yet … thankfully, the words of my friend and colleague, Dr. Eric Smith, feel right to share with you.- R.Mo )

The cover of Time Magazine for the week of November 14 has a photo shopped picture of candidates Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton holding a sign that reads, “THE END IS NEAR”. Of course the Time Magazine cover was alluding to the fact that the most contentious and negative Presidential Election in recent memory was coming to an end. However for some Hillary Clinton supporters the cover turned into an ominous prophesy I am sure many Clinton supporters went to bed on Election night in shock and thinking “Oh No The End Is Near.” No doubt an equal number of Trump supporters would have felt the same way had Clinton prevailed.

To my broken hearted sisters and brothers who went to bed thinking the election of Donald Trump is the worst thing that can happen, I say take a proper perspective about the election.
If you woke up this morning without a diagnosis of Cancer, HIV/AIDS or any number of other health issues, then the worst did not happen.
If you woke up this morning and found your children home and safe, then the worst did not happen.
If you woke up in a country (which you did) that did not have the military seize power overnight and declare marshal law and the elections invalid, then the worst did not happen.

In other words, stop acting like the world has slipped beyond God’s control. Remember on November the 8th 2016 the country elected a president not a God. So if, by chance or happenstance, the worst should happen remember what God told Moses to tell the children of Israel who were caught with the Red Sea in front of them and the Egyptian army behind them. “Go Forward!”

We are not called to sit down and whine. We are called to “Go Forward” with an agenda that includes a voice for unity not divisiveness. We are called to “Go Forward” with the agenda to lift up girls and women not treat them as sexual conquest for men with power or star power. We are called to to “Go Forward” with the agenda to remove ridicule and stigma from those with handicaps. We are called to “Go Forward” with the agenda to fight for full inclusion in the church for all people in the LGBTQ community. We are called to “Go Forward” with our agenda to promote “Interfaith Dialogue.” As Hillary Clinton put it, “we believe that the American dream is big enough for people of all races and religions, for men and women, for immigrants, for LGBT people and people with disabilities.” Therefore, God and the American Dream calls us to “Go Forward!”

We are called to “Go Forward” because “The End Is Not Near” and it is not here. We are called to “Go Forward because God is still in control. So if by chance or happenstance the worst should happen, remember these words from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. “Admitting the weighty problems and staggering disappointments, Christianity affirms that God is able to give us the power to meet them. God is able to give us the inner equilibrium to stand tall amid the trials and burdens of life. God is able to provide inner peace amid outer storms. This inner stability of faith is Christ’s chief legacy to his disciples. He offers neither material resources nor a magical formula that exempts us from suffering and persecution, but He brings an imperishable gift: “Peace I leave you.” This is the peace which surpasses all human understanding.”

The worst has not happened, but if by chance or happenstance the worst should happen, I say in the words of an old Negro Spiritual, “I must go on. I will go on to see what the end might be.” The end God has in mind is the best thing not the worse thing that could happen. So “Go Forward!”

    3 Comments

  1. Estelle Goodnight
    November 11, 2016
    Reply

    Thank you so much for Dr. Smith’s encouraging and uplifting remarks. I needed to hear that because I was devastated by the election results. It is crucial that our country finds a way to work together for peace and that cannot be accomplished if it is divisive. I have no respect for Donald Trump BUT I do respect the Office of President and for that he has my support. I so want him to prove me wrong in all the things he is, the things he has said, and the hatred and anger he has caused among so many people. Looking at this whole event from a Buddhist perspective, however, we do have the choice whether to be angry, whether to hate or whether to mend the divisiveness in our country. Trump’s supporters were angry long before he came along, he was just the catalyst that brought that anger to the forefront. So now that it’s out there, what do we do with it? First of all, I think we have to recognize it for what it is. Second, we have to find a way to make the system work for us and not against us. I honestly think people don’t know how to change this. Third, we have to think not only of ourselves but of others who we can help. Buddhism is a practice for not only myself, but a practice to help other people become happy. My continual prayer is for peace within myself, within my country and within the world.

  2. Sharon
    November 11, 2016
    Reply

    Rabbi Mo, thank you so much for this voice of reason and understanding. I am so glad you posted it and have sent it on into Facebook to my family and friends to make sure they hear this. Estelle’s comment above strengthens me…”we do have the choice whether to be angry, whether to hate or whether to mend…” We need to listen, and work hard to make the system better in all ways for all people, and we can’t if anger gets in the way.

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