It was the politician Abraham Lincoln who said, “Elections belong to the people. It’s their decision. If they decide to turn their back on the fire and burn their behinds, then they will just have to sit on their blisters.”
It seems there is someone running for office somewhere at all times. And running for office is synonymous with making promises and the more grandiose the promise the better the chance of winning. Who would vote for a politician with the campaign slogan “Vote for me”?
But then along comes a seismic shift in culture. Someone overturns an evil, takes a stand for justice, saves lives, or improves the quality of everyone’s lifestyle. And guess what? It’s seldom the person in office.
In his chapter “Why I Am Not a Pacifist,” C. S. Lewis speaks out for the anonymous, nameless, and often unidentified individuals who are quickly forgotten but whose work lives on. He writes,
“I think the best results are obtained by people who work quietly away at limited objectives, such as the abolition of the slave trade, or prison reform, or factory acts, or tuberculosis, not by those who think they can achieve universal justice, or health, or peace.”1
Politicians have a job. May God help them do it. The rest of us have work to do. May God help us as well.
“There was a little city with few men in it, and a great king came against it and besieged it, building great siegeworks against it. But there was found in it a poor, wise man, and he by his wisdom delivered the city. Yet no one remembered that poor man.” -Ecclesiastes 9:14–15.
- C. S. Lewis. The Weight of Glory and Other Essays (HarperCollins Publishers, Inc, 1976), 79.