Awakening: Seasonally, Politically and Spiritually
Here in the Washington, D.C., area notes of spring are everywhere. The days are longer, thank goodness! The crocuses are in bloom and the nearly budding daffodils are dancing in the breezy March air. The days are brisk, but not bitterly cold. It really does feel like nature is awakening after a long winter’s nap.
Interestingly, the political and cultural scene seems to be in an awakening phase also. The new Congress has been installed with a House Republican majority taking the lead in committees and on critical investigative bodies. Points of view which barely saw the light of day in years past are now being ably represented at witness tables. Reluctant witnesses are being challenged and themes are taking shape.
For now, there is more accountability and introspection on how policy conclusions were reached, and there is more opportunity to question underlying presumptions. The list of policy decisions in the public and private sector that eventually harmed our country and its citizens is growing — from the origin of COVID-19 to mask mandates, closing of schools, businesses and churches to the efficacy of vaccine mandates.
From the release of the Twitter files, which showed how its earlier management bowed to government interference and became a censorship arm of government, to the use of some law enforcement agencies to shut down parental voices in the schools or pro-life voices in the public square — it just feels different right now.
It feels like not only is Mother Nature coming out of her winter hibernation, but previous efforts to hide the undue influence of government in our daily lives are coming to light, too. As for me, it feels right and good, and a long time in coming.
A Spiritual Awakening
Politics aside, it also feels like there is a faith awakening. There’s the Asbury Revival in which over 50,000 people from all over the country and around the world descended on a small Kentucky town for over two weeks of nonstop worship and praise. Though the Asbury experience has ended, other colleges and universities are reporting similar activities and many at Asbury have gone to other campuses to spread the love of Christ.
The Jesus Revolution movie, based on the Jesus movement in the late 1960’s and 1970’s, not only received some critical acclaim but it doubled movie industry projections in ticket sales the first week. We are moving through the sobering Lenten season toward Easter and the celebration of the Risen Lord and His promise of eternal life for those who believe in Him.
It feels like there is a cultural stirring afoot. Do you see these changes, too? With this political and cultural awakening comes a series of questions. We are beginning to get some answers but there is still much to learn.
The Questions Abound
How were private companies engaged in limiting free speech and thinking?
Why were dissenting views shut down or marginalized?
Why are our borders so porous, allowing fentanyl to pour across into the United States and kill over 70,000 people a year?
What will be done about growing crime rates driving large and small businesses to flee America’s cities?
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What are our school systems doing to help our kids catch up on lost COVID-era learning?
Why are so many school systems dumbing down standards of excellence and getting mired in Critical Race Theory and gender issues?
Why have so many people not returned to the workforce post-COVID?
Can America’s direction be changed through prayer and an emboldened electorate?
Will you join me in that effort?
The list goes on. But the underlying theme seems to be that as a society we are coming out of our COVID stupor and awakening to a country whose values are radically different from a few years ago. And, it is up to us, individually and as a society, to be introspective and willing to be used by Him in the months ahead.
Heavenly Father, the arrival of spring brings with it new life and hope and a sense of awakening. Just as we find joy in the blossoming forth of Your creation, we sense an awakening of the American citizenry. There is a willingness to ask questions and seek truth.
We thank you, Lord, that we have the opportunity to ask questions and hold our leaders accountable. Dear Lord, may we not take for granted the chances we have to impact the path forward for our country. Continue to provide us with evidence of Your work among us, whether it be in Your church, the culture at large or in the lives of individual people.
Open our eyes to Your stirring so that we may be emboldened by others who see You at work also. Lord, give us wisdom, strength, words and vision to be the people who will make a difference in this time and place.
Thank you, Heavenly Father, for guiding us in times of plenty and want. May Your presence be a lamp unto our feet in the days ahead.
Carol Bauer has been at the intersection of faith and government for decades. She has served as an Executive Assistant to a member of Congress and as a top aide to a Cabinet secretary. She and her husband, Gary, have three married children and seven grandchildren.