I’ve just finished a revisit to C.S. Lewis’s Space Trilogy at the moment, and it resonated with me in an interesting way. I’m an American who has never been particularly thrilled with the current state of our political system. (I’m also frustrated with the fact that the human race is fallible and fallen and imperfect. I’m really looking forward to heaven; the government there is going to be awesome.)
However, as folks around me have been rushing to concern about the election, I’ve been trying to keep my eyes focused on the fact that while this does matter, it isn’t actually the Biggest Deal in the History of the World. The theoretical election of either Hillary Clinton or Drumpf will neither end the world nor will it save the world. Humanity has been in bad spots before. We’ll find ourselves in bad spots again. We’re definitely in a better place than the characters in That Hideous Strength find themselves.
And as I read that book, I’ve been reminded of something. The real struggle is not the political struggle between two (or more) parties. It isn’t between a few powerful individuals. Fairy Hardcastle is not nearly as dangerous as the power behind N.I.C.E. Lord Feverstone is made dangerous by the Power that controls him. The Director (aka Ransom) is good because of the Power that he has chosen to serve.
Similarly, in our world, the real struggle is between The Ruler of the Present Age and the Ruler of the World to Come. Our hope does not rest in Washington D.C. No American politician can save our souls. Only Jesus Christ can do that. As St. Paul puts it, our struggle “is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12)
Yes, what happens in this life matters. We need to make good and wise choices. We want good leaders, but we can’t count on politicians to save us. We need to live lives that are focused not on this world but on the next. “If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were precisely those who thought most of the next. It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this.” (C.S. Lewis) Our hope is not here on earth. Our goal is not here.
The goal, the hope is heaven. Yes, we will face difficulties in our earthly lives. So have all of those who have come before us in faith. Jesus told us that it wouldn’t be easy. “ I have told you this so that you might have peace in me. In the world you will have trouble, but take courage, I have conquered the world.” (John 16:33) We do need to pray for our political leaders. We do need to make wise choices politically. But we do not need to worry. The Master of the Universe has conquered the World. We may face hard times. We may have governments that we do not like. But in the end, the Good and Just Judge awaits us.