Today, at the Park Nicollet lab, waiting for my INR test, I picked up a TIME magazine of last spring. They were exploring what a President needs to know, or understand, in order to do that job of dealing with multiple issues and events, many of them of world-wide importance.
They were interviewing Donald Trump, high in his Tower in Manhattan. And he was holding out for instinct instead of experience, of gut feelings over knowledge. And he felt with one question he got it right. It was, I believe, about NATO. His immediate response was something like: "It's too ineffective, and it's too expensive."
TIME, of course, was looking for layers, for subtlety, for nuance. And was concerned that this newcomer to politics was too ready to trust his own instincts, to believe in himself, in what he thought in the moment.
Much could be said about extensive education, years of experience, and myriads of smart advisers.
What is unlikely to surface in public discussion, or musing by magazines or newspapers however, is something known to us for generations, practiced by people of all levels of society, and commended to us for over 2,000 years, by the most authoritative compendium of human experience, the most consistent record of wise decision-making, and the most influential call to moral and ethical consideration from the highest authority humans know: God's Word to us in the Bible about his willingness to guide and lead us - particularly through the communication avenue of prayer.
Talking to God. Asking God to talk to us. To speak to us deeply about the difficult human decisions that are before us.
Yet, there it is, so simple. So open to us all. So often used by the wisest people, and the most simple people, by presidents of nations and leaders of companies.
Abraham Lincoln turned humbly to prayer. Modern presidents have done the same. So many of us have turned to prayer, and opened ourselves to God, and His wisdom of the ages.
We who are people of faith already, know this. We need to know better and better how to put this wonderful communication to work for our good, and the world's good - even if we are among the most educated, the most widely experienced, or the most go-by-gut, shoot from the hip decision-makers.
What an opportune time in our own lives and our country's life, to turn again to prayer as the greatest gift to man, for seeking out and coming to know the truth, about important things.
Arthur A Rouner, Jr -
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