My Final Last Words, Finally, Well Almost
If I heard it once I've heard it a million times and this week
was no exception. In fact, the words have carelessly tumbled
from my lips on many occasions, some of which have been
perilously near the conclusion of my sermons. Most preachers
never conclude their sermons, they just quit when they cannot
indulge the congregation another minute longer.
Someone once asked a famous preacher what it meant when he said,
"Now, in conclusion ..." He thought for a moment and then
Preachers are not the only ones inflicted with this verbosity
virus. Watching a news broadcast lately, I heard a politician
tumble headlong into the same abyss; "We're going to make some
changes around here," he proclaimed, "and that's my final word
on the subject."
It doesn't really matter which politician pontificated thusly,
for all of them have said it at one time or another and usually
it is never their "final word" on any subject.
Several things are wrong with that statement.
First, when a politician uses the word "we're" he never means to
include himself. It's just a word he uses to confuse the subject
at hand. Someone once made this observation, "if all the
politicians were laid end to end I would not be surprised."
Secondly, the only change most politicians are interested in is
the change in my pocket. They have committees devoted to
figuring out how they can change the change in my pocket to
their pockets. The slickness to which they do this is most
Thirdly, there is no such thing as a "final word" among
politicians. Every politician insists on having the last word on
any subject even though he knows nothing about the subject at
The entire political sorority has one brain, which they share.
The Democrats have the left side, the Republicans have the right
side and they have one intent; mouth in motion at all times.
When a politician has nothing to say you can be sure he will say
it most profusely.
Every politician has two sides, before election and after
election. What a politician says before being elected has
absolutely no relationship with what he or she will say after
election. The only thing absolutely certain is the newly-elected
politician will have a lot to say, but not much.
Once elected their only strategy is to stay elected. They will
do everything and anything to get my vote. I vote they all be
elec-tro-cuted. Nothing would be cuter.
One thing that can be said about the political institution in
our country, it is an equal opportunity liars club. Women have
as much opportunity to join this truth-challenged extravaganza
as the men.
I don't know who makes better liars, men or women. The feminine
side of this auspicious group has made miraculous progress in
catching up to their male counterparts. They both seemed quite
adept to the practice.
Many elected officials go to great lengths to keep their
constituency from knowing where they stand on the issues. They
are seated on committees so they don't have to reveal where they
stand. They are good at sitting and pontificating but bad when
it comes to standing for anything, which makes them believe
their constituency will fall for anything. And we usually do.
The lawmakers of our day are great "change agents," to use a
contemporary phrase. Their opinion on important issues changes
with every new poll published. Unfortunately, or fortunately,
depending on your point of view, for our friendly politicians,
opinion polls can be given every hour on the hour.
And of course, the more important the issue the more the
politician reforms his opinion. A politician should have the
cleanest mind in our country because they change it so much.
Unfortunately, the exchange is usually down.
Perhaps the best final words any politician could utter are, "I
won't run again." Usually when a politician says this, it means
he's currently running from something or someone.
Regrettably, the only change that comes with a new election is
the name on the office door of the public servant.
The bolts and nuts of our political system can be boiled down
to; the politicians bolt for or from any excuse and we are nuts
for electing them to any office.
I sometimes get weary of all this superfluous change. It is
true, the more things change the more they remain the same. What
I want to change never does and what I don't want to change does.
You can imagine what comfort I get from the Bible that never
changes despite the efforts of some people. Two verses are
particularly comforting to me.
One from the Old Testament: "For I am the Lord, I change not;
therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed." (Malachi 3:6 KJV.)
One from the New Testament: "Jesus Christ the same yesterday,
and to day, and forever." (Hebrews 13:8 KJV.)
When it comes to final words, I want that word to come from
someone who will not capriciously change that word and upset my
life. I can always trust Jesus Christ to give me a word I can
always count on.