When America awakened on the morning of November 7 to find that she had re-elected for a second term, the most aggressively socialistic president of our time, an apparent majority of the citizenry seemed quite satisfied. But there were many, many folk who felt as though the bottom of all things had just fallen through, that we as a nation would never be the same, and questions arose as to whether we could even endure this turn of events as a unified nation.
How Is it possible, many thought, that we a free nation could re-elect a Socialist for a second term, especially given the "progress" his leftist agenda had made over the first four years of his presidency?
Much of the answer to this question seems to be a condition not unfamiliar to man as he has endured such seasons of apparent economic disparity and arising demandingness of the disenfranchised.
In the ancient writings of Asaph, one of the authors of the book of Psalms in the Old Testament, the writer autobiographically provides us with a striking example of how this spirit works in the heart of man. Using his own experience as a case study, the writer with remarkable candidness and self-deprecating honesty describes to us his two completely divergent frames of mind and how they contrasted with each other, all triggered by this dilemma of apparent unfairness in life between the "haves" and the "have-nots". His two contrasting frames of mind can be described as "non-reflective" on the one hand versus "reflective" on the other.
The non-reflective observations of the Psalmist are what he describes in phrases such as "I was envious of the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked", (v. 3), "Their eyes swell out through fatness; their hearts overflow with follies", (v. 7), "Behold, these are the wicked; always at ease, they increase in riches", (v. 12). Asaph was perturbed, petulant and envious of those who seemed to have everything life had to offer.
In other words, he looked out at the world around him and he grew increasingly disturbed by what he felt was an inequality of distribution, advantage and resources in society, and this unsettled spirit churned deep within - kind of like it did with Karl Marx, or the uncertain majority of Americans in November, 2012. This spirit was something that encroached as night does the day, subtly, non-reflectively all the while discounting and unselfconsciously minimizing the value of noble qualities such as freedom, liberty and prosperity in a free society.
This mindset can be further characterized by familiar idioms such as "asleep at the wheel" or "going on autopilot". We imagine the case as sort of the "Joe six-pack" mentality, beer in hand, on the couch with his buddies, watching "the game", almost an unconsciousness of the self as human, noble and created in the image of God - the spirit of the instinct, reactive, stimulus-response type of thing. Such a dumbing-down of the reflective processes of the intellect is akin to lowering the noble character of man to that of an animal or beast. In fact the writer uses this exact notion when he says in verse 22, "I was like a beast before you".
Contrasted to this is the reflective, or awakened mindset he describes when he "comes to himself" or better yet when he "comes into the house of God" (v. 17) or into the thought processes of his God, as opposed to his own. In other words, Asaph had "an awakening". He saw the folly of his non-reflective perturbations and renounced himself while he was under this delusional mindset.
The best seasons of any nation, any culture are when they are "awake", thoughtful, creative, productive and truly alive. Such was the case in the early days of our great nation. Men fresh from awakening the slumber of tyranny arose to craft a nation of awakened, courageous citizens. Contrast this for example, to the Germans of the 1930's who slept themselves, enslaved themselves into the national nightmare of Naziism, a collective unselfconscious societal cancer which the noble German people will always have as a blight on their national heritage. Such also is the America that crowned it's Socialist president once again on November 6, 2012.
When in a non-reflective, beast-level, autopilot mindset, the two primary characteristics are slumber and sudden reaction. We sleep until like a dog disturbed, we react with an angry, irrational, almost unconscious petty and bitter vengeance. So also a non-reflective parent is often an abusive parent, demanding his or her "space" until the poor child without any warning becomes the victim of the disengaged parent's snap reaction. So has the left "snapped" suddenly and irrationally against freedoms, like our 2nd Amendment rights. This non-reflective mass reaction is what is fueling the wave of leftism that is crashing over our nation at this hour. We are either asleep, or reactionary or both at the same time, (think of the "Occupy" movement). We do not know what we are doing, nor where we are heading. The cliff looms ahead and we fail to see it because of our slumber and our irrational, immature demands that things be "fair".
The remedy for this: First, awakening, v. 20, "like a dream when one awakes..." In other words to pinch ourselves out of the slumber of non-reflectiveness, and into the light of day, of true consciousness. Has "fairness" versus freedom ever worked? Security over liberty? Do we not see the predictable results of Marxism wherever it has been implemented? Are we blind to the ugly oppression and delusion of North Korea, Soviet Russia and the other efforts at a Marxist utopia? Yes, these are examples in the extreme, but it's all the same path, the path we are now on as a nation, and it is not the path envisioned at the founding of our nation.
The second part of the remedy is to get proper perspective, such as the Psalmist did when he "went into the house of God". We simply are not smart enough or big enough to figure the thing out on our own. We get lost in the delusion of our momentary desires, and we need to stand on the shoulders of something or rather Someone far bigger than ourselves, Someone who knows the tendencies of the fallen human heart, and who offers us abundant mercy when we finally feel our need of it, our need of Him. Such is the Apostle Paul's urgent cry, “Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” (Ephesians 5:14). If God grants us mercy, we will so arise before it is too late and our sleep becomes our death.