Life in the Land of Policy Wonks and Faith

There are times that I love living in the DC area. We get so much information and reporting on the nation’s politics. And then there are the times when I get frustrated that the decision-makers and ground-shakers are too far removed from every day people like me.

Yes, I can write my representative and senators (and have). Yes, I can write letters to the editor or post comments on a website. But it somehow seems, oh, “trollish” to use the web. How does one claim a seat at the table? And then it occurred to me… Maybe that’s not the point.

I’m a practical person. I’ve sat on committees which were formed for the express purpose of recommending a policy. The end result was someone (in this case, an administrator from the school system) saying, “well, we formed a committee and after their input, we decided to do _______.” The decision did not seem to take into account any of the suggestions of the committee. It felt like a waste of my time.

There is no perfect model for making policy and moving forward. And yet… It can be enough to move you to inaction.

This week was the National Prayer Breakfast. I met some of the attendees. I heard about some of the topics that were on the agenda. I read about some of the political maneuverings and criticism of the organizers. There is no doubt that it was ambitious in its planning and execution (and got very little press here in the DC papers, before or after. Go figure.)

But what struck me was this comment by President Obama (as reported on Politico):

“I do worry sometimes that as soon as we leave the prayer breakfast, everything we’ve been talking about the whole time at the prayer breakfast seems to be forgotten on the same day as the prayer breakfast. You”d like to think the shelf life wasn’t so short. I go back to the Oval Office and I start watching the cable news networks and it’s like we didn’t pray.” President Barack Obama speaking to the National Prayer Breakfast.

Great point.

prayersSo I’m thinking that when this event rolls around next year, I’ll create my own “national prayer place” somewhere. While other people meet, pray and discuss, maybe I will just meet up with a friend and… pray. Not philosophize. Not strategize. Not jostle for on-camera talking points. Not proclaim doctrinal supremacy. Not aim for a “seat at the table” but just find a place somewhere to pray.

  • Pray for the courage of our elected and appointed leaders to do what is right for our nation and the world.
  • Pray for the insight into solving our biggest gridlocks in health care, government spending and global security.
  • Pray for improving the status quo for the most challenged and vulnerable among us.

It’s on my calendar for 2014 – Thursday, February 6th.

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