“But Daddy … where does this new road go?”
“I don’t know, son. Nobody does yet. It’s never been traveled by anybody. And even the man who sold us on it doesn’t know yet where it will go. But he gave such great speeches about it, and did such a super job of selling the public on it, that a slight majority of our friends and fellow citizens bought the idea – hook, line and sinker – of taking the new road.”
“But if we don’t know where it will take us, do we have to go?”
“‘Fraid so, son. See, that’s the way this thing called democracy works. We hold an election and vote (at least some of us do), and then whatever the decision is, we all have to go along. A lot of us are afraid this road won’t take us to the paradise the salesman was promising, and we really wish we didn’t have to take this ride together. Even the salesman, who got the people to let him drive, has to admit he’s never been down this road before – or even driven a bus – but we all have to get on and take a four-year ride together. We’ll all go to the same place, no matter where the road takes us, and if it’s good we’ll all be happy. If it’s not so good, or even a terrible mistake that costs us dearly, we really will have only ourselves to blame.”
“Why, Daddy? Why will we be to blame?”
“Because, son, as a group of people, we bought what the salesman was telling us he could do, and where this road would take us. And even though we knew he had very little experience with this kind of thing, his words sounded so good – almost magical – that the majority decided to overlook … oh, a lot of things. Things about his background and hints of his motives and things he would probably want to do if we let him drive. We just decided to roll the dice and take a big, big chance that he could do everything he was promising.”
“Well, what do you think, Daddy? Can he – will he – take us where we want to go?”
“Son, we won’t know for a while. Since none of us, not even the driver, have been down this road before, we can’t know yet where it will lead us. But it’s been decided for us now. A lot of us were worried and voted to take another road, with a more experienced driver, but the majority had its way, and now we all have to get on the bus and ride together, wherever this new road takes us.”
“But Daddy, what if … What if it’s the wrong road and he gets us lost? What if we run out of gas, or out of money, or if robbers attack us, or too many people get on without tickets and we don’t have enough food or room for everybody? What if he decides to take us where we don’t want to go and won’t listen to us? What if he’s not even a good driver and can’t find the way to all the nice places he promised us? Can we at least get off?”
“Probably not, son. No, it’ll be four years up this road before we can do anything about where this driver wants to take us. We can pray that he’ll get good guidance, for all of our sakes. He says he believes in God, and we hope he really does, and that he will really open his heart and mind for God’s direction. Some of us are very worried about who he’ll listen to, because the pastor he chose to listen to for 20 years did say a lot of things that don’t sound God-like at all, and we wonder how much he was already influenced by men like that. But we’ll all be praying for him.”
“If he really believes in God, that will be good, won’t it, Daddy?”
“Of course, son, and many of us believe he does. He says he does, and that he’s a Bible-believing Christian. It’s just that … well, some of the things he’s for and wants to bring along on the ride with all of us don’t square at all with the Bible he says he believes.”
“Like what, Daddy?”
“Well, son, things like allowing the continued killing of unborn little babies – 50 million and counting in the last 35 years. He says he’ll try to reduce the number of those deaths, but will do everything he can to preserve the terrible ruling that led to them. And he thinks it’s OK to change the definition of marriage – as between a man and a woman, like your mother and me – and to allow any two men or women to call themselves ‘married.’ Even though God, in the Bible, says that’s not right, this driver promises that folks who do these things can ride on the bus with the rest of us and he’ll see that they get what they want. Things like that make many of us worry about his character and his moral judgment; a really good driver should have both of those, if he’s going to get us where we need to go.
“And from what he’s said, he may change the fares, at least for many of us, as we go along. He thinks some should pay a lot more than others, and some should just ride for free. By the time we reach the end of this road, a lot of us may have very little left, no matter how hard we’ve worked and saved.”
“Daddy, I’m scared. Do we have to get on the bus?”
“Yes, son, we do have to. But you and I, and your mom and little sister, and lots of the other passengers on this bus will pray like we almost never have before. We’ll pray for God to speak to the driver and show him the way we need to go, not just the way he and other passengers want to go. It may be a very bumpy ride, and there may be some big delays and detours along the way. But let’s pray for the driver and his family and the people he listens to for advice. God actually promises us that if we’ll pray for those in authority, we may all lead peaceable and godly lives.
“Fasten your seat belt, son. And let’s start praying, right now.”
The propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained.
– George Washington, 1789 Inaugural Address
I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever.
– Thomas Jefferson, 1781