Morning Thanks

Garrison Keillor once said we'd all be better off if we all started the day by giving thanks for just one thing. I'll try.

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Morning Thanks--A President?

It's a statement attributed to Rabbi Herschel. "When you pray, don't pray for things--pray to be worthy of things." That thoughtful line is something of the same ethic that underlies the Garrison Keillor note that's typed in above every post I've ever added to this blog. See it up top? It's always been  there. 

Ten years ago it was a mantra, the motivating spirit of the keystrokes that march out of my heart, mind, and soul. I believed Keillor, believed him enough to make his words some kind of discipline. Still do, really. Back then, I thought he was right, that giving thanks is a good, good thing, not just for me and my soul but for the time and place God has given me. Giving daily heartfelt thanks doesn't diminish us; it acknowledges that we live and work and have our being beneath the hand of a much bigger giver, a God forever greater than we will ever be. Giving thanks may well keep us humble.

I probably don't do it enough any more, don't title posts that way. Long ago already, "Morning Thanks" posts became less regular, and that's okay. It was no sin not to hold myself to original intent. But I can't help feeling this morning, that I was somehow diminished when those thanks slowly became more infrequent. 

All of that speculation is but preface to offering my morning thanks this morning. And I say that because this morning giving thanks is incredibly difficult. News reports say that 78 percent of those who watched President Donald Trump's speech last night before Congress were impressed. Van Jones, a CNN commentator who once worked for President Obama was vilified on Twitter last night for saying that the moment the President acknowledged and said what he did about the the wife of the Navy Seal who died in that Somalian raid, he "became the President, period."

I don't admire Donald Trump. He lies wholesale and has ever since he came down that ridiculous elevator in Trump tower. I think he suffers from a nearly terminal case of the first of the Seven Deadlies, pride. He's a bully and an ass, and it's hard for me to imagine any parent in America wanting their children to grow up and act as he all too regularly does. 

And even though this morning he has to do what he promised so clearly last night, has to accomplish more than he has in his rallies and on his Twitter account, last night for the very first time I thought I saw someone who could be President of these United States and leader of the free world. Glimpses, at least. Possibilities. 

I for one am thrilled he didn't poke sharp sticks in people's eyes, that he didn't make fun of people, didn't exaggerate his own riches and glories. The speech's references to American history made him sound, for the first time, as if he cared about the institutions he now oversees and has himself become. It's very difficult for me to say it, but I thought there were moments when he seemed a President.

And for that, this morning--hard as it is for me to admit--I give thanks.


Anonymous said...

-He's President regardless of your feelings.

-He came down an escalator (his own), not a "ridiculous elevator" ("envy" is one of the 'Seven Deadlies' might I remind you).

-We hired him for Commander-in-Chief---not preschool teacher, Little League coach, or guidance counselor.

Anonymous said...

As my Pappy used to say [borrowing a phrase from Bret Maverick], " you would complain if you got hung with a new rope".

You seem to have a little more hope than you did when you called him "idiotic" when you first learned he was going to run. Just remember, 60 plus million people and a great majority of the Electoral College put him in charge. He is the President so suck it up!

ronvdm said...

It must have been the influence Paula White.

Anonymous said...

It was probably his best speech, but it didn't have to be a whole lot better to be "best". He did seem more presidential than ever before. I think he is getting schooled. I am guessing it was a long practice session, with a lot of positive encouragement and critique to pull off a completely different tone and message than before. Even the pronouns change from I to we. It was refreshing. Something happened as this wasn't the Trump we expected.

Anonymous said...

Trump is a "construction guy" by trade and never has held public office. He has lived his life by MBO's (Management by Objectives). Political correctness takes a back seat to budgets and deadlines. Locker room talk is normal for construction guys like him. Giving this type of "state of the union speech" was not necessary to finish the job under budget and ahead of schedule.

When our constitution was constructed these types of men were part of the mix and were expected to run for office, very few professional politicians were available... As the Apostle Paul self-critiqued, he came with "few words of plausible human wisdom" but a lot of common sense and practical knowledge.

Let's hope and pray the "establishment" has the patience to let this gifted man lead...

Anonymous said...

11:26 ---- BEAUTIFUL!

lynn__ said...

I agree...there's hope for the Donald to be presidential :)