IF

November 9, 2016 by Robert (Bob) W. Jones


Across Canada, South America, Oceania, Europe, and Africa, Americans overseas and foreign government officials were glued to the US presidential election with bated breath. Or was it more like breathless?

The “what-ifs” have become a reality.

“President Trump” has trumped “Brexit” as the headline of 2016.

The most divisive US election in history stripped the veneer off most of the time-honoured institutions of America the Beautiful. Can she recover?

As a pastor, what will you communicate in reference to the future?

The least certain of times can be the best of times for communicating the promises of God which are certain. Seeking first the kingdom of God has been Jesus’ directive to his followers in all things. Eschatology is the most pastoral of all theological subjects. Don’t let the prophetic descend into the predictive. Words of prophecy are prescriptive for what ails us today. Today’s decision to trust God is the most pregnant with future.

Focus now, not on the “what-ifs” but on the “IF’s” with a nod to Rudyard Kipling:

IF you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on Trump,
IF you can doubt the predictions when all men believe them,
But make allowance for their believing too;

IF you can poll – and not make polls your master;
IF you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;

IF you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run -
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be great my child!

About this Contributor

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Robert (Bob) W. Jones is a recovering perfectionist, who collects Coca-Cola memorabilia and drinks Iced Tea. His office walls are adorned with his sons’ framed football jerseys, and his library shelves, with soul food. He has served as a pastor for 36 years and has enjoyed the past 26 years in leadership at North Pointe Community Church in Edmonton, Alberta.
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