Power and Joy

For parents of little kids last Friday will be a day quite like Neil Armstrong landing on the moon, the Kennedy assassination, or 9-11 in this way – you will always remember where you were when it happened. I was out in the beautiful countryside south of Decatur, TX checking gas wells for my second job when the news started pouring in on the radio of the murder of children at Sandy Hook. I checked in on my family and friends with little kids to make sure they were okay and then I searched the radio for more news.

I came upon a conservative talk show host who said very little about the tragedy itself but said much more about the looming gun debate that would rise out of this tragedy and how we needed to be on our guard from those on the “left”.

Then I came upon some folks from the other side of the isle on Twitter who immediately called form gun reform and to be on guard from the NRA and their propaganda.

And then there came the moderates who told us that there needed to be a mixture of both gun control and scolded those who argued strongly on either side of the issue.

All of this happened before most of the families of students at Sandy Hook knew whether or not their children were even alive.

As I listened to these things, a word kept popping into my head.


The desire for power is one of the things (definitely not the only thing) that drive people to kill and destroy. They have no power in their own lives, so they must exert what power they might be able to muster on those who are powerless.

Power drives us to take positions as well. As well meaning as people are in their political views, often the driving desire behind these views is to control or manipulate (again, not always in a bad way) circumstances that are outside of our control.

But what strikes me in this situation is how many people from so many viewpoints want to establish their power and influence in a time when we should be sitting in ashes with our friends who have had their lives torn apart.

I’m not saying apathy is the answer here. But, what I am saying is that there is a time and place for all things.

The power of Advent is that God took great joy in, and gave us the same joy, through laying down his power to save us. He came not as a conquerer or as a politician, but as a humble carpenter. He laid down his power at every turn so he could show us the true power of peace, love, and joy.

Since Christ took great joy in laying down his power, why can’t we? Because as we mourn through this time, there is very little we can do to take charge of things.

What is so difficult during times like this comes down to something really simple. We really have no power to change what happened on Friday. No power in the world can change what happened.

As we move forward, sure we can definitely talk about what could have prevented it.

But, right now we could give up our power and just……..grieve.

What do you think? What do you have to add to this discussion?

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