Declaring Peace in the Health Care WarBy
As I write it’s Monday morning, March 22, the day after the vote on the health care reform bill. Our country is as polarized as I ever remember. The victors claim vindication. The vanquished vow retribution. Both sides know the battle is far from over. And both claim defeat of their perspective will cause destruction of our country. For a year we have watched politics at its ugliest. Name calling, intimidation, exaggeration, sleazy back room deals all to get or block passage of this bill.
It leaves most of us bewildered, fearful and angry. What does it mean to each of us and our families? What will our children and grandchildren face? Will it destroy or save our country?
And what about the means used to accomplish the ends? Some of the deals were so contemptuous even the people benefiting from them were critical. Have our political leaders truly succumbed to this level of moral behavior? What hope does that give us about the future of our country?
Max Lucado in his book, In the Eye of the Storm, writes a story which gives perspective to stressful, confusing times like these. I abbreviate it.
There was a poor man who lived in a tiny village and owned a beautiful white horse that was the envy of his neighbors and their lords. Many offered to buy the horse for sums of money that would have made the man financially set for the rest of his life. But he would always say, “I can’t sell him. Can a man sell a friend?”
One day the old man went to the stable to feed his horse and he was gone. When the neighbors heard they told the old man, “You’re a fool. You could have sold the horse for a lot of money and now someone has stolen him and you have nothing.”
The old man replied, “Don’t speak so quickly. Say only the horse is not in the stable. That’s all we know. The rest is judgment. Whether it’s a blessing or a curse I don’t know.”
The neighbors scoffed and laughed at him.
After two weeks the horse returned. He hadn’t been stolen but had run away into the forest. When he returned he brought with him a dozen wild horses.
The neighbors said, “You were right. This wasn’t a curse but a great blessing. You can tame these horses and sell them.”
The old man again responded, “You go too far. How do you know if this is a blessing or a curse? All we can say is my horse brought me twelve more. Whether it’s a blessing or a curse I don’t know.”
One day the man’s only son was training the wild horses when he fell off of one and broke both legs. The neighbors said, “So the horses weren’t a blessing. Your only son has broken both legs. Now he won’t be able to help you work. This was a curse.”
The old man replied, “You people wear me out with your judging. Say only my son broke his legs. Who knows if it’s a blessing or a curse? ”
A few weeks later their king declared war on a neighboring country. All the young men of the village were ordered to join the army except for the poor man’s son. The battle would be severe and many of the villager’s sons would not return.
The people weeping said, “See this really was a blessing that your son broke his legs. He can’t go to fight and is safe.”
The old man replied, “It’s impossible to talk with you. You’re always drawing conclusions. All we can say is your sons are going off to war and mine is not. No one knows the blessing from the curse. We have only a fragment.”
Max Lucado summarizes, “The old man was right. We only have a fragment. Life’s mishaps and horrors are only a page out of a grand book. We must be slow about drawing conclusions. We must reserve judgment on life’s storms until we know the whole story.”
Jesus said, “Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.” (Matthew 6:34, The Message)
It’s easy to get caught up in the “what ifs” and worry. Yet Jesus says focus on what God is giving you today. Quit worrying about tomorrow. Trust you will have the guidance and blessings you need for the future challenges. Those who find peace discover it because they trust in someone greater than themselves and the circumstances they find themselves in. They trust in the one who can do something about the circumstances.
With health care reform all we know is something passed. We don’t even know what it is. One congressman said, “We don’t know what’s in the bill. We’ll find out after we pass it.” Not the best legislative process I’m thinking.
Whether it’s a blessing or a curse we can’t judge. We’ll only know in time. For today we need to trust the one who transcends politics and who has promised to make the circumstances of our lives a blessing.
What circumstances do you face that are beyond your control? Is it time to give it to the one who has all power and stop worrying? Let me know if I can help.
If this post has encouraged you please let me know. And if you would like automatic updates please subscribe. And please share it with a friend. Thanks.
Douglas Armey, the LPL Financial adviser associated with this website, practices in Fresno, California and may discuss and/or transact business only with residents of the following states: California, Idaho and Oregon.
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. To determine which investment(s) may be appropriate for you, consult your financial advisor prior to investing. All performance reference is historical and is no guarantee of future results.