Sunday, November 6, 2016

Election reflections

I'll be traveling Tuesday, so I requested an absentee ballot for the general election. I put it in the mail Saturday, in hopes it will arrive at the county election board office by 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Preparing to vote reminded me of my college test-taking days. I often procrastinated and then had to cram before the test. That's how I felt Friday night and Saturday. Who knew there was such a thing as vote anxiety?

As the presidential election campaign progressed (or deteriorated, as the case may be, when it came down to the major party nominees), I'd found myself praying along the way, as I tried to find a clear reason to vote for one candidate or the other. All I could ever come up with was reasons I didn't want to vote for either one. But I did not see that as a responsible option. 

Friday night, after more seemingly futile attempts to find credible information to help me make a decision, I prayed with renewed focus.

Dear God, I've been praying, and now I'm cramming before the test. Who do I vote for for president? 

I lifted up the name I was leaning toward and my reasons. It wasn't the decision I would expect myself to make, but it's the answer I kept coming up with when I evaluated my choices based on my understanding of biblical principles. But I acknowledged I could easily be wrong. 

Whom can I trust? How can I know who to trust? Many of my friends whose opinions I respect line up passionately on opposite sides. They absolutely do not see how anyone -- especially a Christian -- could vote for the other candidate. But when I look at these friends' reasons for their choices, they seem to come down to what they believe in. It's an act of faith, that the candidate and-or the candidate's party will perform based on his or her promises and platforms. But I really could not come up with that level of faith for either candidate or party. 

I found myself asking: What would Jesus do? He would pray to His father and He would trust His leading. Thy will be done. 

And so, I decided to stay with the choice I had lifted up in prayer. But I added in prayer: "Unless You, Lord, give me a clear reason to do otherwise. And I will trust that, whatever the outcome, You are in control. And I will pray to know how to respond, to Your glory. Do I need to be more involved in social/governmental affairs? Compassionate activities? Church work? Please help me know and do!"

The next day, I filled out the ballot and mailed it in. I'm still unsure, even though it's too late to change. By the end of Saturday, I felt pretty sure I'd made the wrong choice, but today, who knows??? I do know that, as I participated in Holy Communion this morning, I prayed for forgiveness if needed, but mostly for God to work this election cycle for His purposes. And I trust that He will. 

Meanwhile, it's crazy that so many people have already cast their ballots, even as the campaigning continues in full force. 

Oh well. It's out of my hands now. What now? Please help me know and do your will, Lord, to Your glory. 

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