The days after an election are arguably the least united day for a nation. Over the past few days we’ve seen just how divided the United State is. Today, I find myself thankful for unity.
A few months ago I was feeling a great deal of confusion and contention all around me. It seemed as though I had been locked into a swirling vortex of ambiguity and didn’t know if I wanted to get out of it, let alone how to do so. I was stuck, but what was worse is that I was divided. I was seeing division all around me: in marriages, in households, in teams, in churches, in cities, in our nation, and on and on. So I began to pray. I prayed for large sweeping changes and shifts in minds and hearts on a global and national scale, but then I realized that I needed to pray differently.
I began to pray for myself. I prayed for unity within my mind and my heart and prayed that I would be united with God’s plan and purposes. I imagined a vertical line extending from my gut through my sternum to my brain and up connecting me to God. I prayed for this line connecting my inner being and my brain to be straight and in perfect alignment with God. And I began to see changes. Even though there was still chaos and division all around me, the bent out of shape feeling began to diminish into the background.
I still pray consistently for unity within the nation and churches and political parties and families, but I always begin with myself. Unity is an impossible goal to reach when you are divided within yourself. How can we strive to create something that we haven’t experienced? Achieving unity starts inside and works its way outward.
This morning as I was thinking and praying and thanking God for unity, I remembered something many of us know all too well:
I pledge allegiance
to the flag
of the United States of America,
and to the republic
for which it stands,
with liberty and justice for all.
As a child, I said this everyday at school. Most of the time I thought it was stupid and irrelevant, but today I don’t feel that way at all. This pledge that has been ingrained into my mind and heart stresses unity above all else. As children we declared every day that we were one nation. We acknowledged that we were under God. We promised that we were indivisible, sure that nothing could tear us apart. And all these things exist because we long for liberty and justice for all people.
Today, the United States is a nation divided, a nation full of people divided within themselves. That’s why I am so thankful for unity. I am thankful that we can be united with God and that our hearts and minds can be in line and in tune with his purposes. I am thankful that he can be a common ground for people of differing backgrounds, skin colors, and life experiences. I am thankful that God is one and will never be divided. I am so very thankful today for unity.
Lord, you are three in one and will never be torn apart. This is amazing to me, as I can easily disagree with myself and feel disunity between my head and my heart. Forgive us for the times when we’ve brought division to situations when we’re called to bring unity. Thank you for being the perfect example for us. Help us to be united with you completely, in mind and spirit and heart and purpose and action. We want to be in sync and in step with you. Amen!