Over the last month, there have been scores of articles written, stressing the importance of voting. This midterm election has taken on a weight, an importance, that I don’t recall seeing before. We are all Chicken Little, but instead of the sky falling, we fear, and even believe, that our country is coming to pieces.
I look out my front window. We have new neighbors. They’ve been here since early September. I’ve yet to get up the courage to go and introduce myself. They’ve been busy getting settled, anyway, running loads to here from whence they came. When I do cross the street and extend my hand, my first question will not be, “Who did you vote for in 2016? 2018?”
Because who wants to start off a relationship like that?
Politicians have sold us a great lie: The neighbor is the enemy. This simply isn’t true. Unless you live near a Neo-Nazi, chances are pretty good that those in the homes within shouting distance want the same things you do. A job, good schools, safe neighborhoods. Chances are also pretty good that everyone up and down your street disagrees on how to achieve those things, and just what role the government should play in the achievement, but down at the base level, where it really matters, people are just people.
We forget that. All of us, so tuned into what our leaders have to say, find our sinful, baser natures rising to the forefront. Fears of “the other” and “the different” and “the invader” have been stoked, and blatantly. It behooves those in power to stir us up and create suspicion. As Abraham Lincoln famously said, the house that is divided shall not stand. He uttered these words in 1858, on the eve of civil war, when brother took up arms against brother.
Do we want to repeat this history?
Yes, I believe that if we do not check ourselves, we will wreck ourselves. Violence is the natural, logical conclusion when people feed on fear and hate. Perhaps not tomorrow. Maybe not even next year. But eventually.
I won’t tell you who to vote for. I won’t even tell you to vote. As I write this, the polls open in less than 24 hours and I have yet to decide if I will be among those waiting for a ballot. Not because I think voting is pointless – I don’t. It matters a great deal. A couple of weeks ago I was sure; now, I feel a heaviness knowing that, once again, it will come down to choosing the “lesser of two evils.”
Is that a choice that a Christian can or should make?
Wrong is still wrong, isn’t it, even if varied by degrees?
You’ve read here of my love of politics. Long have I been fascinated by the history, the personalities and the processes. Today, I am sickened instead. Waves of nausea wash over me as I ponder what lies before us. Nobody knows exactly what tomorrow holds, but it is not too far a stretch to make an educated guess. More anger, more division, more trouble.
Unless we choose differently.
We legislate morality. Never let anyone tell you otherwise. Murder, robbery, abuse – all sinful, all penalized. What we cannot do, and must stop attempting to do, is legislate Christianity. This marriage of faith and politics, this reckless and futile attempt to establish the Kingdom of God on earth, right now, in the United States, as a distinct physical and political entity (read this as a jumping off point), must stop. There will be no utopia before the return of Christ. And His return certainly isn’t going to be forced by us.
Before you go to sleep tonight, examine yourself. Take a good, long, hard inventory of your heart and mind. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal both cherished and hidden sins. Ask Him to grant you the strength to repent. If you choose to vote tomorrow, be sure that you do so with His agenda squarely in focus.
Because that’s what we are to be about. Today, tomorrow and the next day.
Let us choose differently. Vote, don’t vote – that’s not an answer I have. What I can tell you is that, whatever the results are, we have to learn that sanctification is a process meant to change all parts of our lives. Nothing is to be held back from the refining fire of the Spirit’s touch. For some of us that might mean choosing to listen to the stories of an immigrant family (legal or otherwise). For others that might look like turning off the obnoxious cable news and reading the Bible a little longer than usual. I don’t know what God is asking of you, but I know it’s something, because that’s what He does.
Listen. Oh, please, let’s listen. Let’s choose Him, over and above all else. Like Hannaniah, Azariah and Mishael. Let’s not go with the flow. Let’s not allow ourselves to be manipulated. Let’s not give into fear and hate.
Today, tomorrow and the next day.
Mediate on these words:
Some trust in chariots, and some in horses;
But we will remember the name of the LORD our God.
– Psalm 20:7 (NKJV)
4 thoughts on “Today, Tomorrow and the Next Day”
Marie, your question about a Christian’s quandary in voting for the lesser of to evils is well-take…yes, there’s a ‘but’ following.
Some of the choices are pretty stark; a vote not cast can be the equivalent of a vote cast or people who feel that if you don’t agree with them, you are fair game to be hounded in the marketplace, and in your home. We’ve got a current senator and congressperson who feel this way, along with a former attorney general and speaker of the house (the latter found it ‘understandable’, in a tacit approval).
I’m not going to hit the hot-button of abortion, but I will say that the ‘death panels’ that are a part of the ACA, which would ration health care based on ‘social worth’, would affect people like me. ACA ruined any chance I might have to get rationally proced insurance through my wife’s employer, and the people who voted for it (and those who didn’t) have their own health care system. I don’t have access to affordable healthcare; the ‘bronze’ ACA programmes have such a high deductible that they are unusable. I therefore get to face death in a lot of pain. (And that doesn’t touch on the next step, already taken in the socialized system of the Netherlands…forced euthanasia.)
Finally, there are the elected officials in places like Denver ()where the current governor, Hickenlooper, was mayor at the time) when a ban against Pit Bulls was passed…and the cops went door-to-door where the presence of a Pit was reported, and killed the dog. Try that here, and there will be hell to pay.
The people responsible for these things were elected, and they were elected because not enough people voted for another candidate.
This world may not be home, but we’re stuck with it, and charged with protecting those who can’t fight for themselves.
Please pardon the typos, the most stellar of which is the invention of the word ‘proced’…which clearly should have been ‘priced’.
Marie, a very thought-provoking post. I believe we need to be aware of what’s going on in our country, our society. Personally, I try to always vote, even when none of the candidates are ideal. We have a gift in being able to do this, and God gives us the opportunity to be change-makers in the ways we cast our votes.
It can be hard when everything seems discouraging. But you’re right, ultimately, God is looking at our hearts and our willingness to reflect Him to the world around us. I am working to find the balance between being culturally engaged (to a limited degree) and being true to the One who loves me most.
I still think it’s important to vote. But your post definitely makes some really good points friend. Very thought provoking!