Looking back as we look ahead
God of our forefathers (and countless mothers),
as we approach this Presidents’ Day Weekend
we ask for Your grace that we might increasingly embrace…
the leadership skills of George Washington
the tenacious determination of John Adams
the creative ingenuity of Thomas Jefferson
the honest courage of Abraham Lincoln
the conservation foresight of Teddy Roosevelt
the physical resilience of FDR
the audacious vision of JFK
the integrative initiative of LBJ
the consequences of corruption characterized by Richard Nixon
the spiritual transparency modeled by Jimmy Carter
the political open-mindedness of Ronald Reagan
the potential for redeeming one’s reputation as demonstrated by Bill Clinton
the family values of George Bush
and the hope-and-change dreams of Barack Obama.
When we are quick to acknowledge our lack of knowledge or experience
needed to accomplish tasks to which we’ve been called,
remind us that our greatest Presidents were unqualified
to achieve all that which was expected from them.
Remind us this day that greatness is defined by service and humility
and that success is defined by compromise and cooperation.
Thank you for the leadership example of Jesus
who did not come to this world to be served
but to serve and to give.
To that end may we also lead by serving and love by giving
as we do our best to make our world a better place. Amen.
*This prayer was offered by the poet before the Washington State House of Representatives in Olympia on Thursday, February 11, 2016