Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Finding Gratitude in the Midst of Defeat

We had a really fun day yesterday. John David went with me to vote and was a champ standing in line for the 1.5 hours that it took me to vote. I've had fun trying to explain to him in terms a 3 year old would understand what this election bit is all about. Then we met my mom and my nephews at the Yellow River Game Ranch for a fun time seeing all of the animals. It was especially nice for me because John David went in with my mom and nephews and I sat at a picnic table and had a leisurely lunch. It wasn't really planned that way, but it was nice to have a little break to just sit and ponder everything in the woods, with all of the beautiful colors surrounding me. John David is particularly aware of the change of season and I love to hear his enthusiasim when he sees trees that are bursting with color. Anyway, after the game ranch we headed to an indoor water park that was fabulous! I can highly recommend going there if you've never been.

On the way home last night I was listening to some talk radio and thinking about the election. Then I realized that it felt a little like I was listening for updates on a sporting event, wondering if my "team" was going to pull through for a victory. And then it hit me that this is so much more than that. (Just a note, I did realize before that moment that the election is a big deal. It's just in that moment it really hit me.)The outcome of this election is going to change our lives. For better or worse, our lives are going to be changed. I went to bed last night before the election had been called and therefore woke up this morning to the news.

My "team" didn't win and there is a heaviness about me this morning that I don't like. First and foremost let me say that my hope is in Jesus Christ and not in any election outcome. But what worries me is the way our nation is changing. Maybe I've been living in denial; it's a place I frequent. Sunday night on my way home from a friend's house I was listening to the Alan Hunt show. His question was something to the effect of "What role does your faith play in choosing a candidate for President?" There was a caller that called in to say that his faith and his choice of candidates is irrelevant. He claimed to be a man of Christian faith and said that his support was for Barack Obama because he is just like every American - a little bit of everything. Alan Hunt respectfully disagreed with him in that your faith has everything to do with your choice for President. When you are truly a man or woman of faith and your faith is real, that faith changes your perspective on everything. It's not an accessory that you carry around with you, it's a totally integrated part of you. I agree with Alan Hunt. But the point that got to me is the realization that maybe Barack Obama is a representation of what Americans are today.

I didn't vote for Barack Obama because I don't trust him. I don't think he's a man of his word. I don't trust his judgement of people and events. I think he does things out of an effort to please people and not out of conviction. I think his ideas of "spreading the wealth" sound socialistic to me. I don't think it's the public school teachers' responsibility or right to teach Kindergarten children any form of sex education, whether it's meant to "protect them from predators" or not. I find it hard to respect a man who has no respect for life.

Is that what Americans are today? People who can't be trusted, whose word means nothing, people who are without conviction? Do we want to be as rich as the next person (or as poor?) all in the name of equality? Do we want to put the awesome responsibility of the moral education of our children in the hands of total strangers? Do we want to teach that there aren't consequences to our actions and that any "consequences" that might emerge from our actions can be taken care of by being put to death? Well, America has voted and it looks like that's exactly what we are today and what we favor. Makes me all the more glad that this place is not my home.

If you are still reading this post, you may be fuming in disagreement with me. I may read this post in a day or two and decide to delete it. But I couldn't stand these thoughts swirling around in my head and I have to say that writing it all out has made me feel better. And I'm grateful that we live in a country which allows me to write such things with the only fear being the judgement I may encounter from friends and family. I'm grateful that we live in a country which allows us to vote. I'm grateful for technology that allows us to know the "winner" within hours of the polls closing. And I'm grateful that my hope is not in things of this world, but in a living Savior, whose shed blood covers the debt for my sins and gives me the promise of an eternity in heaven.

I won't attach any pictures to this post although I wish I could've captured John David's expression this morning when I shared with him the news that McCain didn't win but Obama did and he replied "Nobama?!?" with a whine and a wince.

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