Since the clocks fell back last weekend, I’ve been waking up earlier than usual and have not been a happy camper as a result. Our bed is positioned in such a way that when the sun comes up over the eastern horizon the light zaps me in the face, jolting me out a perfectly restful state and I can’t get back to sleep. I hate it.
But this morning I didn’t mind. I wanted to get out early and vote.
With coffee in hand, Wolf and I headed up our hill to the neighbor’s private garage that today becomes a public meeting place. We left a little early and joined the small crowd that was beginning to form. As we stood in the fog waiting for the polls to open we remarked to one another how great it was to gather with our neighbors, most of whom we have never met. Although we’d never laid eyes on most of them, there was a collective soul of which I was proud to be a part.
Pretty soon though, we heard some whispers that surprised us. A woman ahead of us complained that the fog was ruining her hair and was ticked that she hadn’t registered to vote by mail. The guy behind us loudly posed the question that if we can shop, book flights, and apply for a loan on the internet, why can’t we vote on line? He grunted on about how it would make life so much easier.
That got me to thinking.
Some things shouldn’t be easy.
On that Fall morning every four years, I am forced to think about how much it cost for me to be able to put that ballot in the box. As we walked towards the polling place, I was reminded of the guts it took for those first immigrants to get on those wooden boats and travel to an unknown land, driven by the unquenchable desire to have a say in how to live their lives, extending that privilege to present day common folk like us. I think of the millions of people in scores of wars who have spilled their blood so that my day-in and day-out liberties to buy, sell, say, love, and worship are protected. I think of all those who are willing to sacrifice time, talent and resources on a civic level to make my everyday life comfortable. I think of the men and women all over the world right this very minute who wouldn’t dare express a public opinion out of fear for their very lives… yet I got to walk up that hill in the fog this morning.
I don’t want it to be easy.
I read this week that a huge percentage of people won’t vote today because they either don’t have time or they think it’s a waste of time. What? Man or woman, gay or straight, wealthy or poor, black or white, employed or unemployed, old or young… our vote is our voice. And as for believers, it is our responsibility to vote for leaders who will uphold Godly standards no matter how long it takes or what anyone thinks. Through the very act of voting, we declare Whose side we’re on and, extra bonus: we get to participate in furthering God’s will.
After this is over and the tallies are all in, no matter who wins, we’ve got to remember God’s got this one. At the end of the day, we’ve earnestly got to pray that the man who will occupy the Oval Office in January will seek God- not popular opinion- as he serves the people in his leadership. As my friend Stefanie Kelly said this morning “… today is a GOOD day regardless…and the next 4 years (if the Lord doesn’t return) will be four GOOD years simply because our God, the living God, the Redeemer of all creation is GOOD.”
First of all then, I urge that prayers, petitions and thanksgivings be made on behalf of all men; for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, Who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
1 Timothy 2:1-4