It will be two weeks before potential candidates can register themselves in the race for the position as mayor of Toronto, and it seems already like it would be a crowded slate that we would be facing. Before the cacophony of political grandstanding common to all elections takes place, it is good to ponder over why we are here to begin with. My thoughts go inevitably to the vacuum left behind by John Tory who had served for 9 years as mayor before he abruptly resigned in February 2023 after admitting to adultery with a member of his staff. I listened carefully as he announced his resignation, “It came at a time when Barb, my wife of 40-plus years, and I were enduring many lengthy periods apart while I carried out my responsibilities during the pandemic. As a result, I’ve decided that I will step down as mayor so I can take the time to reflect on my mistakes and to do the work of rebuilding the trust of my family.”
As I heard what he said, I did some reflecting of my own. How much time do we spend on what we think are the demands of our work that we forget about the condition of our soul? How often do we allow the urgencies of life to dictate the judgment of our conscience? Paul aptly warns us, “Let him who stands take heed lest he falls” (1 Corinthians 10:12). The admonishment is not that we should never take a stand, or step up to a responsibility, or spend our energies on the things to which we are called. The caution is that in taking a stand we cannot be wrapped in the mantle of hubris to think that we need not take heed to the gnawing tiredness that comes without rest, or the neglect to worship God when we are caught up in the successes of doing well. “Take heed,” Paul says, “lest you fall.” It is a sobering lesson for those of us who live a world driven by its demands. I remember sitting with a man who had lost his livelihood and his family by transgressions that would haunt him for a lifetime. “I was too busy dashing ahead,” he said, “I didn’t look down to the potholes that would trip me. And even worse, I didn’t look up to the Lord who made me.” In just a few days when the floodgates of political campaigning are open, we would do well to remember the backstory of this election, and the call of God to stop the mad rush of our souls. To consider Him in all things. And to take heed, lest we fall.