The World Series, Amelia Earhart, and the presidency

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The World Series, Amelia Earhart, and the presidency

November 2, 2016 -

According to the latest Rasmussen poll, the race between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton is tied. Each has 44 percent support among likely US voters. Among those who could change their minds, the two are tied at 36 percent each. And so the most contentious campaign in memory continues to trouble, fascinate, and polarize Americans.

Meanwhile, Game 7 of the most-watched World Series of all time is tonight. We want to know if Chicago can win the title for the first time since 1908, or if Cleveland will win for the first time since 1948.

And USA Today is reporting on new evidence supporting the theory that Amelia Earhart died as a castaway on a remote island. The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery says they have found evidence that Earhart made more than one hundred radio transmissions in the days after her plane went missing. They also claim that a partial skeleton discovered in 1940 on the island of Nikumaroro (located between Hawaii and Australia) could belong to Earhart.

The aviator disappeared on July 2, 1937, over the Pacific Ocean. It’s been nearly eighty years since she disappeared—why does her story still generate headlines today? I did the math: only 3.5 percent of the current American population was old enough to know her story when she vanished.

What do Amelia Earhart’s disappearance and this year’s World Series have to do with today’s political news?

Here’s one answer: we are fascinated by unresolved mysteries. If Trump or Clinton were leading by a wide margin, today’s polls would not be generating such headlines. We all want to know what happened to Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. We want to know if the Loch Ness Monster is real and why Jack Ruby shot Lee Harvey Oswald. Forty-one years after Jimmy Hoffa disappeared, we still want to know what happened to the mobster. There’s something about human nature that is vexed by unanswered questions and seeks harmony in a dysfunctional world.

Here’s my point: every desire we have was created by the God who made us. It’s up to us whether we satisfy that desire in ways that our Father intends or in ways that violate his best for us.

For instance, I am called this morning to write an article that will help you become the culture-changing Christian God calls his people to be. However, I also have the desire to write an article that will impress you with what I say and how I say it. I can ignore this God-given need for affirmation. Or I can admit it and turn it toward my Creator and Father, trusting him for the unconditional verification no human can provide. If I choose the latter, my need is met by his grace (Philippians 4:19) and I am free to write joyfully for an audience of One.

The presidential race is now officially too close to call. But God knows who will win the election, just as he knows what happened to Amelia Earhart and he knows what is best for you today. So turn your God-given hunger for certainty into a commitment to trust the only One whose love and grace are certain. And know that your tranquility will be a powerful witness to our turbulent times.

“Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace.”

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