Trying Not to Build a Tower

"One day, everyone was talking and they came up with an idea: 'Let's build ourselves a beautiful city to live in! It can be our home. And we'll be safe forever and ever.' Then they had another idea: 'And let's build a really tall tower to reach up to heaven!'

'Yes!' they said, 'We'll say, 'Look at us up here!' And everyone will look up at us. And we'll look down on them. And then we'll know we are something. We'll be like God. We'll be famous and safe and happy and everything will be all right.'" - Lloyd-Jones, The Jesus Storybook Bible


My due date for our third child is today. According to any given news outlet at any given time, the world is ending next year no matter who is elected to the office of President in November. As you can imagine, this stirs up feelings of being so completely okay and fine about bringing another child into this word. *sarcasm* 

I read that excerpt from The Tower of Babel story in my kids' Bible the other night. With the political fervor of the past two weeks stirred up from the conventions, and the news cycles predicting absolute gloom and destruction and worst-case scenarios... those two paragraphs comforted me. 

The familiarity that comes with realizing humankind has always been the same helped me realize there is nothing new under the sun. We've always tried to control our lives. We've always run to places or people or things to give us the security we crave.

For the past several months, I have looked at the two candidates set before me with a lot of frustration, but also confusion. How did we get here? How are they the two top choices? We could talk a lot about the faults of a two-party system and the media and whatever.

At the end of the day, though, I think it's because humans want to feel safe, even at the expense of other humans actually being safe.

And that's how we have these two people standing before us, promising us two different versions of safety and security. We throw our voice behind their voices. Not so much because we agree with them but because what they're saying sounds like the most reasonable way, between the two choices, to guarantee the kind of life we want to live.

They tell us peace and prosperity are somehow our birthright, because of the national boundaries in which we were born. They promise safety, security, happiness, greatness, and complete freedom and complete control over our bodies. They tell us these are not only things we should want, but we should be angry if we do not have them.

Maybe, even, we should sacrifice morality and conscience if we're not getting them.

I'm not sure how those who don't follow Christ will choose this November. I don't know how those who do follow Christ will choose. But I have come to one conclusion: fear can have no part in my decision.

Fear of what either candidate says will happen if the other takes office. Fear of violence. Fear of war. Fear of the daily reality of so many in this world catching up with us... America; that what we see going on overseas could become our reality too. It's biting at our heels and we are losing our minds.

I'm not saying, "Things aren't that bad," because there are several things that really are that bad.

I'm not saying we shouldn't feel fear because there's no legitimate reason to feel fear.

But fear cannot be the driving force behind something as important as who we think would make the best leader of our nation, and because we live in the nation we do, one of the most influential voices in the world.

As a Christian, I certainly hope and pray that the will of God will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. I believe if that were to happen we'd see a lot less heartbreak and I believe taking part in the political process is a significant way we can live out the faith we claim.

But I also know that we will have trouble in this world and voting, though significant, is far from the most important or the most guaranteed way that the will of God will be worked out in this world.

The fear of who our next president could be and what that person could do is never, ever, ever a reason to throw our support behind another who blatantly encourages things that have nothing to do with Jesus. As I read yesterday, "Choosing the lesser of two evils is still choosing evil."

Are we bold enough to "throw our vote away" when our only choice is evil? Can we trust Christ enough to risk perceived security? This election represents a unique opportunity for Christians. I think we can paint more clearly what it is we are going on and on about: the restoration and redemption of all things through Christ alone.

We have reached a time where people are so exhausted from attempting to build crumbling towers to heaven, from attempting to build up edifices that guarantee safety, that they are putting their tools down and looking around for another answer.

Can we step away from our own towers and meet them with Jesus?

May it be so. May Christians choose our Great Hope instead of fear. May we be able to recognize our own desire for safety and security and surrender it to Christ. May we be brave enough to trust God over the empty promises of men and women.

May we stand on the truth that no political platform can guarantee that war and violence and disease will never cross our borders. May we recognize that this desire for a place free of these things is God given, that what are hearts are collectively gasping for is heaven.

May this desire drive us to the One who can drive out war, death, disease, pain, grief, and darkness. In fact, He has already done so.

It is only for us to wait in the tension, in the "already-but-not-yet" of Christ's Kingdom and proclaim that we have no need of towers.