By Oswald Sobrino, J.D.; M.A. (Econ.); M.A. (Theo.); M.L. (Master of Latin), doctoral student, University of Florida.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Ultimate Gift May Be Inside a Defeat

Photo of the Book of Isaiah page of the BibleImage via Wikipedia
It looks like in the next few days we may have a big political reversal in American politics. This post is not about partisan politics at all, but rather seeks to use this news cycle to point out how sometimes we are surprised by things that can emerge from our defeats in life. Since 2006, there was a strong political trend against the Republicans. During 2010, that trend has, from all objective indications, completely reversed itself. Experienced and wise political observers know that there is always tomorrow. Some political wag might even say in hindsight that more Republicans would have voted for Obama in 2008 if they had known how he would "galvanize -- to borrow a word used by a politician I know-- their party in the very near future.

In our personal lives, apparent defeats may very well hold the seeds of ultimate victory. That should not be hard for theists to embrace, especially Christians whose founder was hung up like a Roman slave on a cross. As Isaiah said long ago, his ways are not our ways, his thoughts are far beyond our thoughts. That prophetic insight makes for great humility, calmness, and humble optimism even when we are faced with defeats and disappointments.

(As an unrelated aside, notice how I used the name "Isaiah" without parsing out the scholarly distinctions between the various possible authors of different sections of that book. In this context, it is just not necessary to make such alleged distinctions although I am familiar with them. Think of what I just did when you hear people allege that, in the Gospels, Jesus somehow quoted the Hebrew Bible naively concerning its historical authorship.)