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Politics and Spirituality, Behind The Scenes!

Those two words do not seem appropriate in the same tag line given our current divisive climate! However, I have found the two quite interesting when understood in the light of who we are as creatures, made in God image!

With a true sense of self, an intimate relationship with the Spirit comes a very beneficial discernment when making decisions that involve the best interest of others.

I know, right now that doesn't seem to be the case with politicians, given all the distractions at the federal level. However (my most often used word these days), God is work, however you chose to define this being. The God who was in Christ gave us a simple definition, God is love!

Love is others oriented, never selfish, rude, or discouraged by those who are. Given that last statement, my love has not yet been perfected, but with God's help, I am headed in that direction, though now officially in my fourth quarter of life!

Given an ever growing confidence in Artificial Intelligence, I will allow AI define the word for us: "Politics is the set of activities associated with making decisions in groups. It's also the exercise of control within a society through the making and enforcement of collective decisions. 

Politics can also refer to the process of maneuvering to assert rival interests. For example, Max Weber defined politics as 'striving for a share of power or for influence on the distribution of power'. 

The term 'politics' comes from the Ancient Greek word politiká which means 'affairs of the cities'. Aristotle, a 4th-century BC Greek philosopher, wrote a work of political philosophy called Politics.

Politics exists wherever people interact with one another to make decisions that affect them collectively. This even includes families!"

Thanks AI!

Having served in five key sectors, I have observed this dynamic in public education, multiple religious settings, across several denominations, even other faiths, as well as l marketplace negotiations.

I have also benefited from a personal and deep dive into politics given my 16 or more years in the political arena, first by appointment to various municipal boards, including eight years on a planning board in a medium sized city, followed by six years as a local mayor.

The interesting thing about being a mayor, though often the role thought as positional power, the mayor usually does not even have a vote, unless in the case of a tie. This too is unlikely, in that most town charters are set up with odd numbers of council members just to prevent that situation. If a member is absent, their vote is usually recorded as affirmative!

The mayor is a figurehead, who carries the bulk of the weight of citizen concerns, along with "free rent" 24/7 of his/her headspace with regards to the community's needs and council's expectations! It really does consume your thoughts, but again quite the privilege. If desiring to make a difference and most certainly all do, the secret sauce is found in personal relationships and longevity of term in office.

The first year is lonely on council, spent learning and discerning the intent of those who long in their tenure, thus the value of spiritual inputs! The second year is about forming alliances by way of servant leadership, and of then winning a second term, each term usually 2-4 years. That comes around real quick!

The second term is about shared vision, and with a third term, if so fortunate, some serious impact!

The true personal benefit of one's service are the otherwise unattainable insights that come with working with others. What a privilege!

Of course all of this is transferable, whether to nonprofits, church boards, school boards, or C-suite operations. People are people and where there are people there are underlying political systems, seldom owned openly, but always present.

Flowing in that political stream, whether in education, the church or the marketplace hones one's understanding of grace and a deep respect for the Being that offers said grace to all of us.

Again, we are all unique pieces of God, pieces that truly do pass all understanding!

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