“Supra,” of course, means “above”–and, on this eve of Super Tuesday, there are issues above and beyond the crass political calculations being made by pundits, party operatives, and even the campaigns themselves. The one “supra-concern” I’m thinking of is “calling.” I’ll explain:
I’ve long been an advocate of spiritual gift “matches.” What I mean is the need for all of us to be matched in our God-given gifts, talents, and skills with our calling, or what some term our “vocation.”
The reason a lot of people fail in their personal and professional lives is because they are mismatched with their vocations; their jobs don’t reflect the gifts God has given to them, or their natural abilities, and / or acquired skills.
In my “other role” as a board member of the Evangelical Church Alliance, I see this all the time with ministers. Pastors who fail to connect with their own churches often do so because they’re mismatched to their congregation’s needs. Maybe a minister has the gift of evangelist, or teacher, or administrator, and that isn’t what a particular church needs. I also see this on Capitol Hill where I serve as a missionary to elected and appointed officials. Often a politician will fail because he or she isn’t properly matched to the office he or she occupies.
I’m thinking about all of this in the discussions surrounding the prospective Republican presidential nominees–especially as tomorrow’s huge slate of states prepares to vote. When it comes to the office of President, a candidate must be properly matched to the position–with just the right spiritual gifts, natural abilities, and acquired skills.
This brings me to the many e-mails I’ve received about my personal choice of Mitt Romney. I based my decision on what I perceive to be his match of gifts, abilities, and skills with the office of Chief Executive.
This doesn’t mean I don’t respect and appreciate Rick Santorum; I do–very highly–but I don’t think his particular gifts, talents, and life experience match the presidency–at least for this time in our nation’s life–as much as Mitt’s do.
I’m convinced God placed Rick Santorum in the United States Senate just when he was needed. Back then, we were in the throes of a debate over one of the most heinous sins this nation has ever committed: partial-birth abortion. More than once I prayed with then Senator Santorum in his office as he wrestled with his call to confront this sin. I remember vividly sitting in the Senate chamber on the day Rick called partial-birth abortion what it is, “Murder!” Immediately after, a baby’s cry echoed through the hall. I had never heard a baby cry in the chamber before and I have never heard one since. It was as if it were a heavenly approbation. But Rick later lost his seat in the Senate–badly. I don’t believe God was surprised by that outcome. It was in His plan. Rick had done what he was called to do and God released him.
I do believe Rick has a genuine and important call from God to confront our nation and its culture with moral truth, but that isn’t necessarily what’s needed now in the presidency. The crises we are facing are lack of leadership and lack of economic wisdom. I’ve been with Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney. I’ve prayed with both men. I’ve met their families. I’ve asked them hard questions. I’ve observed the way they operate. All of this has left me with the firm conclusion that Mitt’s gifts, abilities, and skills match the challenge of our times better than Rick’s.
You’ll draw your own conclusions of course, but as you evaluate your choice, ask, “What are the gifts, abilities, and skills needed for a chief executive in this time?” As a citizen and co-owner of this great enterprise called The United States of America, you need to make a decision on the next CEO for our country. What kind of resume will you look for?
That’s the challenge we all face. May God grant us wisdom to find just the right match!