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The other day James Bratt posted a careful, scholarly review of Calvinism and Politics on this site. Here’s more, neither careful nor scholarly. . . .
I dreamt the other night that I was driving a small car with two passengers: my delightful wife Gretchen and Barack Obama. Humble man that he is (in my dreams), the President sat scrunched in the backseat and asked that we take him to chapel at both Hope and Calvin College.
As dreams so often go, we never got to Hope and I went to the wrong building at Calvin. As soon as I dropped my wonderful wife and the President off, I knew I had made a mistake. I kept saying, “No, it’s supposed to be the place that looks like a Pizza Hut.” (I would never say that about Calvin’s chapel while wide awake, but how can I be held responsible for what happens in my dreams?) Having now misplaced both my fanstastic wife and the President, I drove on some sidewalks across Calvin’s campus until I found them, sitting under a tree. My amazing wife was doing all the talking, bragging to the President about the various accomplishments of our children.
Just as Barack was about to say something, some college students came by, did a double take and then asked the President for his autograph. As he was signing, Mr. Obama turned to me and said, “Let’s get out of here. When people start asking for your autograph, it’s time to move on.” “Yes,” I thought to myself, marveling at the man’s wisdom. “When they start asking for your autograph, it’s time to move on.” This notion resonated deeply with me, as if Mr. Obama were restating a proverb as old as humanity.
“By the way,” I asked as we got back to the car. “Where’s the Secret Service?”
The President laughed. “Oh, I don’t need them here. This is Calvin College.”
Barack Obama was in the back seat while I started our little grey car up. We were pretty cozy in there. I was feeling a bit anxious about how much leg room he had (and how safe he really was at Calvin College) when my alarm went off. I woke, feeling somewhat disturbed, wondering what in the world this dream meant. (Talk about dreams of grandeur.) Where’s Carl Jung when you really need him?
1. If you were hanging out with Barack Obama, what would you say? Would you tell him about your kids or maybe take the opportunity to ask him a few questions. If you could ask him something, what would it be?
2. Is it really time to move on when people start asking for your autograph?
3. I’m jealous that Jamie Smith’s recent post about N.T. Wright has turned into “Ask Tom.” Would someone please sign in as Barack Obama and start up a Q and A session?