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Politics and life
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A week from today all the conversation will be, "who won the Iowa Caucus." The year- long national drama will have begun, and soon we will all be hoping that November 5th was already here. This is the seventh presidential election in which I have been old enough to vote. From this basis of experience, I have learned three things: first, the person I like the most will not be the nominee for either party; second, the election will make it clear again how divided our nation is; and third, regardless of who wins, we will still need to go to work the next day. Despite what happens in the national election, we all still have our own work to do. Albert Einstein put it like this. He said, "Yes, we have to divide up our time like that, between our politics and our equations. But to me our equations are far more important, for politics are only a matter of present concern. A mathematical equation stands forever."

While we may not see our work as something which will "stand forever," it is still our work. It is our way of being faithful to God's calling, it is an offering we give to God, and it is our own way of making a difference. Work is a way of surviving change.

My family and I drove to Savannah over Christmas to enjoy some family time and to walk the beach and the historic city. Savannah was founded in 1733 and was a colony 43 years prior to the Revolution and for short time was the capital of the state of Georgia. It has lived under two kings and 43 presidents. The people of Savannah are a living reminder that hard working people can survive political change.

The Apostle Paul had this to say about politics and work. He said pray for the leaders, "prayers, intercession and thanksgiving should be made for everyone - for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness" (1 Timothy 2:1-2).

 And then Paul said, focus on your work. "Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands" (1 Thessalonians 4:10).

Whatever the outcome of the political drama of 2008, we all have our own work to do this year. As Theodore Roosevelt said, "far and away the best that life offers is a chance to work hard at work worth doing."

John Donaldson is the pastor at Newborn & Mansfield UMC. Send e-mail to