As I write this, George Bush has less than an hour left of his presidency. I wonder how he feels. I wonder how his wife feels. The presidency is such a remarkable honor and yet it seems to take so much out of the presidents and their families. I wonder what I would feel like right now if it were me leaving the White House.
On the other hand, the Obamas are probably riding high on the cusp of feeling. Still, I wonder what they are thinking. I wonder if Michelle is worried that her husband will not live out his term of office. As a mother, she's got to worry/wonder about what the presidency will do to her family. Nevertheless, I'm sure they are having a great day. (I searched for something pithy and intelligent to say but I don't have much time or intelligence today to do so.)
Mr. Obama and I differ greatly on many topics that are near and dear to my heart, regarding the government of the country. During the election season, I talked to a lot of Obama supporters who were trying to get my vote for their candidate. Inevitably, they would ask me what issue kept me from voting for their guy. When I replied, "Abortion," that was the last thing I heard. Abortion. He's obviously not going to change his mind on that subject. I doubt he'll change his mind on the subject of turning our country into even more of a Socialist nation. Of course, I could be wrong. I had hoped that President Bush wouldn't have increased the budget like he did.
Anyway, we disagree. That's fine. This is still a country where we can do that without my fearing that I am going to hear a knock on my door in the dead of night, at least right now. And I can rejoice with my fellow citizens over the peaceful transition in government that has been happening here for over 200 years. That is an amazing and beautiful thing.
I enjoy seeing how history, both personal and more globally, plays out over the course of the years. Over my washing machine hangs my college diploma. The date on the diploma is May 20, 1989. At that point, big things were happening in my life. I had a newly-minted B.A. degree and was a few months away from being married. I had every hope in the world that I was going to go on to school and then on to the profession of my choice. Times change. I get a kick out of seeing that diploma hanging over the washer, for more than one reason. A big one is that ten years to the day later, my sweet Abigail was born. I had been through an amazing amount in ten years. And yet there was still more to come.
I was thinking this morning about inaugurations. I wondered if they were going to say Mr. Obama's full name when swearing him in. Friend Husband asked me if that was the custom and I had to say that I honestly didn't remember. I thought the last time I had seen an inauguration was when the first President Bush was sworn in. As I pondered it more, I realized that I had seen the second George Bush inauguration, at my stepfather's house in Buda, Texas. I was there, on this day four years ago, cleaning out my mother's effects from his house. We stopped long enough to watch the inauguration because it was a "historical event" and as such, something that homeschoolers tend to see as important. Four years ago, the wounds from my mother's passing were just beginning to heal, I was doing a necessary but painful job, and George Bush was being sworn into office for his second term. Today, my mother's passing still gets me in the gut, I'm still doing a necessary but painful other job, and Barack Obama is going to be sworn in as our next president. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
In the end, as Friend Husband reminded me this morning, God is over all and it is to Him that we owe our allegiance. And I remembered another historical moment in both my life and the life of the nation, the 9/11 attacks. Afterwards, I continually recited Psalm 46 to remind myself who was really in charge of eternity.
"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be moved into the sea; though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah. Be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth. The Lord of hosts is with us, the God of Jacob is our refuge."
Psalm 46: 1, 2, 10, 11
May God bless us all as we strive to do what He desires.