Voting for Gratitude

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

I sort of hate politics.  Hate is a strong word, but then again, tis the season for throwing around strong words and slandering your fellow man until he's covered in enough mud that it sinks him, right?  Ugh.  Everywhere you turn it seems like someone is super passionate about something, even if it's being super passionate about not caring about any of it.  But, I did my civic duty and voted today, just as many of you did.  So, congratulations, we took a step and did our part, and now we can sit back, relax, and celebrate and/or cringe as the results start pouring in.

Tonight is election night.  And, like it or not, the chances are that by morning as I'm posting this blog I'm writing right now, we'll be glued to our televisions hearing about who will be our President for the next four years.  Crazy stuff.

I told Matilda tonight, "Just think, four years from now when there's another election, you'll be seven years old!"  I had to literally stop and count on my fingers if that was correct because I just couldn't comprehend the thought of her being a seven-year-old, it just seemed so impossible.  This is when it dawned on me that when the last election took place, she wasn't even conceived yet!?!  Holy moly.

A lot can change in four years.  Maybe not the way we like it.  Maybe not the way we planned.  Or maybe exactly how we predicted (whether to our chagrin or delight).  But there is only one guarantee:  plenty of change will occur.

I think there is a reason that elections take place in November.  I mean, yes, there probably actually is a good reason they take place now in the practical sense...but, I'm actually talking about the kind of season we're in.  I think there is a genuine reason God placed our election day so close to our Thanksgiving Day.

(Maybe you are already arguing in your head the calendar-making-statistics of why this doesn't involve God's hand, and let me just stop you right there - you've been watching too many numbers on the screen.  Take a deep breath, chill, and just stop worrying about it all for one second with me.)

In all this hubbub of debates and passion and arguing and apathy and criticism and the season of thanksgiving.  What a strange time.  I see the newsfeed in my Facebook account just full of complaints and promotions, and then scattered throughout the day are status updates celebrating whatever someone is thankful for.  I'll tell you one thing:  I think we'll all be good and thankful when the ads for all politicians stop running and we can get a little bit of our sanity back!

I don't know who will win in the morning.  You'll already have the answer (most likely) by the time you are reading this.  But, I know that I want my daughter to grow up the next four years surrounded by more thanksgiving than debating.  By the time she is seven, I want her to understand that people can love the same Jesus and vote for different people for President.  I want her to see her parents honor and respect the authority that God has placed over us and our country.  And I want her to know without a doubt that we're able to do it only by the strength of knowing our dependance comes from the one true authority of Jesus Christ alone.

I'm so thankful for our next President.  I don't know who he is yet, but I'm thankful for him.  I'm thankful I don't have his job.  I'm thankful that God will use him regardless of his strengths and certainly through his weaknesses.  I'm thankful that he has willingly opened up his heart to guide a nation, and I can't imagine the kind of pressure, influence, or guts that it must take to step into a position that is so irreverently criticized by today's media.  I'm thankful that we live in a country where we can still speak the name of Jesus and open our Bible's in our own language without any concern or worry.

As the political persuasions dwindle down over the coming days, let's try to amplify our voice of gratefulness.  We may not get the President we voted for, or the President we think we deserve, or the President we think should have won...or, we might!  But, our future is not in his hands anyway.  There's a lot to be thankful for, folks.  Let's try and not lose sight of that.

Four years from now, we'll be right back here, wearing our "I Voted!" stickers and watching the TV with baited breath.  But, four years from now, maybe I can be explaining to my seven-year-old Matilda how proud I am to live in a thankful country.

You don't have to like the weather to be thankful for the sun.  Let's welcome this morning with praise.

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