THE Republican National Convention opened early this week under almost chaotic circumstances. There was pandemonium and cries of dismay after an “Aye”-“Nay” vote was taken about changing the rules.
A commentator remarked that it was almost like the party wanted to un-nominate their nominee or at least leave room for another, perhaps more conservative (less impulsive), candidate to have a crack at it. Funny, but that sounded vaguely familiar.
Of course, the suggestion went over like a lead balloon.
After a noisy spell when it seemed tempers would boil over, order was finally restored. Another vote was taken and, finally, even the most vociferous protesters were appeased.
I watched off and on and at one point was sorely tempted to switch to a telenovela.
On the second day, there were allegations of plagiarism by the presumptive (there’s that word again) Republican first lady who, apparently borrowed some phrases from a speech delivered by, of all people, the reigning First Lady of the United States. Awkward!
There were the usual finger-pointing, loud threats of heads rolling, followed by hemming and hawing, denials and creative excuses.
Some actually pooh-poohed the drama, saying that, after all, 97 percent of the speech was original. Miss the point much?
At any rate, by the end of the evening, we were weary of so much repetitive commentary. The latest culprit until late Tuesday night was “Twilight Sparkle” from My Little Pony. Huh?
Breaking news! Wednesday, an in-house staff writer offered to resign, saying she had inadvertently cribbed part of Mrs. Obama’s speech. Her offer was turned down. Will we ever really know whodunit?
Donald Trump Jr. came on stage to tumultuous applause and talked about his father. Now that indeed was a campaign speech! Not warm and fuzzy. Fiery! Impassioned.
Critics quickly dissected his oratory and also found a few “stolen” sound bites. Oh, well.
I wonder if anyone will ever come forward and ’fess up. I doubt it. It’s easier to point fingers.
American naturalist and essayist John Burroughs once said, “A man can fail many times but he isn’t a failure until he begins to blame somebody else.”
This lack of accountability becomes the weakest link and can be the undoing of an organization. On a more personal level, it is often the final demise of a friendship or a relationship. No one wants to accept blame or be taken to task. We hear nonending and often incoherent excuses from the panicked offender who lacks the guts to admit a mistake and face the music.
“It just happened.” “I didn’t mean it that way. I was taken out of context.” “She cheated. He lied.” “I gave so much. I was shortchanged.”
Loving without measure takes a back seat. Pride takes over. We would rather give up than give in.
The worst scenario for me is when the culpable party ducks under the radar and continues to live as if nothing had happened, pretending it was anybody else’s fault but theirs.
In any arena, why is it so hard to accept responsibility?
Arnold Henry Glasow, author of “Glasow’s Gloombusters,” once said, “A good leader takes a little more than his share of the blame, a little less than his share of the credit.”
But how many good leaders do we know?
What has happened to our world?
We pray for France. We pray for Nice and the lives that were lost there. Once again we have seen the ugly face of terrorism. We shudder to think of families broken, lives lost, dreams turned into nightmares, fun and revelry and the celebration of a day of freedom suddenly festooned in black, the color of death and mourning.
There’s violence all around us. Will it ever stop? Where is it safe anymore?
What has happened to us? How far have our hearts strayed? Have we forgotten our divine roots, our God-ordained destiny? Have we succumbed to the crass, vulgar and depraved elements and have these usurped our good values and principles?
Why is this happening?
Once again, in my desire for answers, I went back to search the words of pastor Judah Smith, pastor of City Church in Seattle. Last Sunday I shared a little bit from “A Response to National Pain.”
Here’s what he said about recent killings: “We don’t have a race problem. We have a God problem.”
Pastor Smith warns about our dependence on humans:
“Mere humans don’t have what it takes. When they die their projects die with them.
“We need God to step in. We need God to intervene.
“God does not think in terms of our political system.
“He is the God of cheaters, liars, adulterers, the God of the broken, the weak, troubled, hurting, the marginalized, the murdered.”
His words give me a surge of hope. When I was a little girl growing up in an all-girl convent school, I didn’t know that no matter what I did, I couldn’t earn or lose God’s love; that I had it regardless, free of charge.
Did you know that?
And then he sums it up beautifully:
“Maybe God is the only answer. God’s got to be the focus of our existence. We never needed God more.”
Amen! I have no more questions. Do you?