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« Capitol Hill: Palace of Simpletons? | Main | Fun Friday meme »

January 25, 2008

Different priorities vying for our affections

Bullseye The Clintons are Grand Past Masters of the art of politics. Former Clinton political consultant Dick Morris explains that Bill Clinton has a reason for injecting himself into his wife's campaign for President in such an aggressive way lately. The former President knows that, with limited TV air time in a state the size of South Carolina, he can dominate news coverage. 

This accomplishes two objectives: he takes the airtime away from Senator Obama AND lets Senator Clinton glide on by without a scratch from the press. But it's all about them, and the Clintons don't seem to care if they tell half-truths to get to their goal. They are like many in politics or business. Winning is their top priority and really all that matters to them.

But all this points up the difference Christians start to undergo when the Holy Spirit starts to work on their priorities. For a former politico, going from a need for total victory to simply making a sincere speech is a huge transformation. When an alcoholic sets a higher priority on his health or his children's welfare rather than a temporary fix, that, too, is amazing--and something not done by oneself.

Anthony de Mello was an exceptional Jesuit priest from India who taught about basic spirituality. He noted that a moral agent is like an archer, trying to hit the bullseye twenty yards away.  If the archer allows himself to get too angry, too stressed, or too plain distracted, he won't be hitting the bullseye anytime soon as his bow will shake! But if he stands upright, is relaxed, and doesn't let anger or stress make his bow shake, he can hit the bullseye more frequently.

In the case of the Clintons, for all their success in politics, it doesn't seem to have made them very serene. Bill Clinton, in particular, has seemed downright angry lately and not very presidential as he lays into Obama or the press. Perhaps the former president is doing what a lot of us do regularly: he starts off aiming at the right bullseye, but prefers to shoot at the easier targets close by--rather than give up his anger or need for control.

Only when we relax and let God direct the arrow to the right bullseye can we really improve our aim.

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Dale Tedder

What a pleasure to read my old friend Stephen's words at such a fine blog. Well done Stephen.


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