So why run? It is a valid question, and one that I feel should be asked of every public servant. Not just at the onset of one’s first political endeavor, but regularly upon every attempt at running for reelection. If one’s motives aren’t pure, and it is really just about a job, money, or perceived power and prestige, then it is for absolutely the wrong reasons. And, if one seeks office for the wrong reasons, then corruption and ineffectiveness will always be the byproduct of their representation.
In Matthew 20:25-27, when confronted by His disciples who were vying for position, Jesus said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave.” The notion of being a “public servant” is for many, anything but.
Does a politician work towards the greater good of his/her constituency? Or does he/she act primarily out of self interest? Is contact and opinion sought of the constituency more than just every four years, or just at election time? Does the politician make the right calls, even in light of the fact that it may cost him/her reelection? Does a politician respect the office he/she holds so much so, that they strive to remain morally pure and above reproach in order to avoid casting a blithe on the office? The questions one could ask of their politicians, in an attempt to determine their servant-heartedness, are vast. Ultimately, however, they can all be summed up into the single question of “Why Run?” For you see, one’s hopes and dreams, character, and very motivation can be summed up in their answers to that question.
From as far back as I can remember, I have felt both the call to, and gifting of leadership. Whether it was in being a leader among friends or family, student and college government, business, or ultimately in the area of ministry, I have found myself in leadership (often without seeking it). Now one might attempt to explain this regular occurrence by such factors as my birth order, social conditioning, or even Myers-Briggs personality assessment, but I ultimately believe it to really be something of a heart issue and calling.
I have always had a heart to see the betterment of my family, friends, community, and world. We are all God’s children, and in that fact, possess enormous value. It is because of this value, that I feel such a burden to defend the sad, broken, and powerless. As a result, I have made serving in mission to the hurting and helpless in my community, nation, and beyond, a priority in and over my life. In the context of ministry, I have passionately and unashamedly worked to share God’s Truth, and message of hope and love, to all I meet. I have striven to be a servant of all. And that, I feel to be the real reason God has continually placed me in positions of leadership.
Since a teenager, I have known that I wanted to one day run for public office. In my later adult years, as election cycles would come and go, and I felt the desire grow ever stronger, I would fleece God and ask “If now was the time?” Each time the answer would come back “Not yet.” Over the years I have watched my country travel in a direction that I cannot in good conscience approve of. My heart has been broken by our continued loss of religious liberties and freedoms. I have been disgusted by Washington’s complete disregard for our Constitution and Bill of Rights. I am appalled at the rate by which our nation is abandoning the framework and safeguards for which our forefathers died, and so divinely put into motion. I am amazed by the relentless rate at which our government officials are being exposed as corrupt, morally deficient, and power hungry. It seems that rule by “executive order and office,” trump that of “by the people for the people.” And I know that the disgust, disappointment, anger, and sadness I feel, is not exclusive to me. In conversations with neighbors, friends, and family, I find that that there is a collective desire to take our country back. With national polls showing congressional approval at an all time low (almost ¾ of all voters rate congress unfavorably), it doesn’t take a genius to see that something must be done.
I love my God. I love my family and friends. I love my country and state. I can think of no greater way to show all of them my love, than to lay down my life (will), and be their servants.
Last fall I asked God the question again, just as I have in years past. This time, I feel He has said “Yes…for such a time as this.” I hope Desoto County, and more specifically District 25, will say the same on August 4th. If you do, I know that together with God’s help, we will move mountains!
Experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms of government those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny.
The greatness of America lies not in being more enlightened than any other nation, but rather in her ability to repair her faults.
Alexis de Tocqueville