Not long ago my family went to a place where you could yell and hear the echos very well. It was a beautiful place and it was also a place where I saw in my children something that exposed a dark side of myself. The love of my own voice. As we stood there taking turns yelling into the canyon, it did not take long until my kids were each yelling over one another in order to hear their echo. They each wanted the other one to shut up so that they could hear only their voice. A fight broke out and I am sure that everyone around that canyon heard the echos of two children yelling at each other while two parents were yelling at them to be quite. We are the best parents.
A. W. Tozer said, "The world is waiting to hear an authentic voice, a voice from God—not an echo of what others are doing and saying, but an authentic voice." I want to believe this is true, however when I sit in contemplation and prayer I come to doubt that we desire for an authentic voice. In fact, the more I listen to the world around me and even my inner prayer life, it is more and more evident that I seek out the echo more than the authentic voice.
And like my children at the canyon, I tend to find greater satisfaction with the sounds that are echos of my own thoughts, feelings and beliefs. Not only that, but I also tend to think that others will find the sound of my voice much better than they will find the sound of their voice. I tend to come back to the sources that I have already agreed with than to seek out a voice that is different and (dare I say it) may be closer to the desire of God?
This is where I find politics interesting. Specifically when we say that we want a politician that represents us and our voice. We want echos in the chamber not authentic voices. When we say that a candidate "gets us" or "says what no one else will say" we may affirming an echo of ourselves.
And so, if we wonder why there is anxiety and fear in the political process it is not because of the candidates. More often than not, they echo back the voice of their base. We desire the sound of our own voice coming to us at different pitches and volumes, but in the end it is still our voice.
This is where I believe, the Church is helpful. The Church can be a place where we listen for the voice of Christ. Can we stop yelling long enough to let our own echo fade so we may hear the voice of Christ?