Tuesday, November 04, 2008

The Early Morning of Election Day

While the sun was still far below the horizon, with frost on my car and coffee mug in hand, I slipped out my front door this morning to be at my designated polling place in the St. Matthews area. I was glad after all that I decided to arrive early (though my brain and warm sheets were telling me otherwise before I climbed out of bed) since the line was already spilling out the door when I arrived at 6:05.

I tend to jump to conclusions during such crucial times, particularly when so much is at stake. My mind starts reeling at the slightest thought of all the seemingly countless implications that come with whichever candidates are elected. I am reminded of my convictions, the truths which I cannot sacrifice at the altar of comfort, potential change, or even financial stability. If my grandparents were able to persevere through such seasons as the Great Depression and the second World War, then I am encouraged knowing that millions have gone before us through their own significant periods of time. Every generation is defined by particular political, economic and ethical issues, and we have all been reminded in recent weeks and months of those which will define us, those aspects of our time which will be remembered in the history books to come.

The purpose of this post is not to voice my political stance. This is not an opportunity for me to put my opinions up on a pedestal, though I am assuming that those of you who know me can probably guess where I stand during this particular election season. I read a good reminder for all of us on someone else's blog early this morning: candidates are not perfect. With an attitude of humility, we must remember that candidates for any political race are fallen human beings just as we are, and may we exercise the same level of respect and humility towards them as we would hope they would have for us were the tables turned. With this in mind, knowing that we are all imperfect, I can only put forward to you the mindset I had as I approached the voting booth this morning.

It begins with admitting that I don't know all of the details, the ins and outs, of every single issue at stake this year. Particularly in regard to discussions of the economy, my mind starts swimming either out of frustration or confusion (or both). Regardless of the particular issues at hand, all I can do is return to the principles of my worldview. When my head is clouded with what I don't know, I must return to those things which I do know:
  • On what ground do I determine what is right and wrong, ethical and unethical?
  • What is the foundation on which I base all of my principles and convictions? Is that foundation solid?
  • What is a Christian worldview?
  • What are the principles that are fleshed out based on a Christian worldview?
  • What are the principles I absolutely cannot move away from? What are the principles I am unwilling to sacrifice? (i.e. the sanctity of human life)
  • When I set aside all of the media garbage, all of the talking heads and their personal opinions, what are the real issues at stake and what do I truly believe?

These are questions we MUST be asking ourselves as we evaluate the real reasons we are supporting a particular candidate. In a world of imperfect people, leaders included, only one Source is reliable and will lead us into all truth as we seek wisdom. When we don't have all of the answers, when the decisions pertaining to our society and government are muddled, we can rest knowing that there is one Source of truth that is immovable and only on Him can we fully rely. I can't help but think of the opportunity I have as a believer to simply and graciously talk with others, particularly those in close proximity at my workplace, about why I choose the way I do. This is not an opportunity to boast in what we claim to know, to trump our opinions as absolute truth, but to engage in conversation with others when they are receptive. I have learned that it is possible to state your convictions and engage in conversation with others as an opportunity to share grace and truth with them. Seasons of change such as this one are full of opportunities for believers to share the reality that we don't put our trust and hope in man and why we don't! The candidate with whom we align ourselves should represent our worldview (or as close as possible), and as believers we should be prepared at a moment's notice to give an answer for the choices we make, including the candidates we support.

Ponder these words by John Piper written with the past couple of weeks: "We deal with the system. We deal with the news. We deal with the candidates. We deal with the issues. But we deal with it all as if not dealing with it. It does not have our fullest attention. It is not the great thing in our lives. Christ is. And Christ will be ruling over his people with perfect supremacy no matter who is elected and no matter what government stands or falls. So we vote as though not voting. By all means vote. But remember: 'The world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever' (1 John 2:17)." Remember these words in any opportunity you are given to engage in conversation with someone regarding the current trends in our society.

While I am on a seemingly endless trend of rambling this morning (I blame rising in the wee hours of the morning!), I will go ahead and close with these brief thoughts I received from my dear friend in a recent email forward:

TEN PROMISES NO MATTER WHO WINS THE ELECTION:
1. The Bible will still have all the answers.
2. Prayer will still work.
3. The Holy Spirit will still move.
4. God will still inhabit the praises of His people.
5. There will still be God-anointed preaching.
6. There will still be singing of praise to God.
7. God will still pour out blessings upon His people.
8. There will still be room at the Cross.
9. Jesus will still love you.
10. Jesus will still save the lost.

4 comments:

Ashley said...

What a great post! So many doors have been opened for me to share Biblical truths because of where I stand politically - such as the sanctity of life, one man/one woman covenant marriage, etc. I like the 10 promises at the end too. It's so easy for me to fret about what will happen today, but the truth is - God is still God. No matter the outcome of this election. Now that's security!

BreAnna Fowler said...

Amen.

Amber said...

I do love that John Piper quote. How encouraging it is to be reminded on such a nerve-racking day that God's Sovereignty prevails!

Colorado Dreamin' said...

Great post!!!!!