I was leading my C group last night, but the evening of great discussion about God's character was bookended by time spent glued to the fuzzy screen of our television watching the election results come in. I knew what the result would be-I think I had known for weeks that Obama was going to win-so I wasn't too surprised. Nor was I surprised when my Google Reader filled up with blogs about how proud and excited and teary-eyed my friends and fellow Seattleites are. But I don't really know what to feel.
Relieved that it is over? Yes. Fed up with the election conversations? Definitely. Happy that our country has elected a person of mixed racial heritage despite everyone's predictions that we were too racist for that? Most assuredly. Excited about Obama as president? Well, no, not really.
No matter how inspiring a candidate, if his fundamental views on how government should function and what policies should be supported are different from your own, then you can't really be excited when he wins the top office in the land. But as my dad reminded my brother(who voted for the first time ever this year!), Obama is our president now, and he deserves our support as well as our discerning critique as he makes decisions in the months and years ahead.
I am glad that the election is over, however. I am glad that I no longer have to endure the shock and dismay from my friends when they learn that I am a conservative, that I didn't support Obama, that I actually like Sarah Palin's politics. I'm glad that I don't have to be the brunt of the jokes of my friends (anyone who thinks that all Democrats are incredibly progressive and nice has never been a lone conservative in a room full of liberals). I have a wait and see attitude about this presidency-Obama will have a lot of challenges when he takes office, and we will see if change is really coming, and whether that change is good.
I appreciate my pastor's words on Sunday, when he reminded us that our allegiance should not be to a politician or a party, but to God. He also made the point that those who say that clear-thinking Christians can only vote Democrat are wrong, that our reasoning and convictions can lead us to different conclusions and that is okay. Which is good, because I consider myself to be fairly level-headed, reasonably intelligent, and full of care and compassion for my fellow Americans and fellow human beings. And I didn't vote for Obama.
I hope we can still be friends. Because our unity is in Christ and not in our political affiliations. It's a reminder that Christians in both parties need.