Tuesday, November 4, 2014

I voted. Now what?

About 13 hours ago, I joined the ranks of my Facebook friends who posted a link showing that they had done their civic duty and voted in the mid-term elections.

I added the comment: "OK, me, too. Still uncertain on a couple of races. And I have to check the state election board site for the judges and county races. Seriously, if I don't know who is on the ballot by now, should I even be voting???? (I do know who is on the ballot, but that still doesn't help me decide. Is it better to flip a coin? Or should I leave that one blank?)"

One friend noted that to leave a race blank is to vote for the winner, and expressed surprise that I was uninformed.

I replied that I wasn't so much uninformed as unsure and skeptical. "It seems like in a lot of cases, no matter who wins, nothing really changes. And the more I dig for information, the more confused I get. In some races, candidates and their supporters on both sides make a good case. And in a few races, neither side really wins my confidence. But I will vote. And pray!!...."

Disillusioned is the word that comes to mind now to describe how I felt.

A post on the Denison Forum by Jim Denison offered some guidance and perspective. In a nutshell: "Ask yourself before voting: which candidate is most likely to lead in accordance with God's Kingdom purposes? Research your options; learn the candidates' positions; seek the Spirit's guidance. Then vote as though the election depends on you, and pray for the winners as though their effectiveness depends on God."

I'm also praying for the citizens. Although I'm glad the elections are over so that the campaigning -- on TV and radio, in the mail and over the phone -- comes to an end, I'm concerned about the great frustration being expressed by people who were hoping for change that did not occur, at least in Oklahoma. What will it take to turn bitterness and frustration into productive, effective action? What will it take for the winners to listen to the side that didn't win and hear those concerns, rather than just view victory as a mandate to run roughshod over the minority viewpoint?

I truly think only God knows. But I pray to discern what He would have me know and do to be a positive force for good as a citizen and as a Christian.

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