Holy ambivalence

James K.A. Smith, author of You Are What You Love, writes:

Imagine being a people who don’t think a presidential election means either the salvation of the universe or the end of the world. Imagine being a people who have a loooooong perspective on such matters, who are tied to an ancient people that have managed to “live peaceful and quiet lives” across the centuries, whether in kingdoms or democracies, under persecuting tyrants and benevolent queens. This news cycle, this election season, this year, this Congress — these are all blips in time for people who are looking for kingdom come. And so we shouldn’t be surprised by anything. We shouldn’t feel like our world is collapsing. We should, instead, cultivate a kind of healthy distance — not being aloof or indifferent, but nonetheless exhibiting a kind of “holy ambivalence” that isn’t so absorbed by the present moment. We are a stretched people who are older than this campaign and look for a kingdom well beyond it.

Or another way to put, in the words of a friend of mine: Are people ever going to shut up about the election?