Tomorrow is a very important day for our country. The atmosphere of this election has been so ugly, so disheartening and so divisive. It’s a shame; it is a travesty.
Oh, I’m not talking about the candidates and the campaigns. Those are certainly distressing in their own right. I’m talking about the people, you and me, family members, friends or perhaps now, former friends. And not only American people but people from all over the world have joined the throng of ranting and raving.
At one point I began to say I would just be so glad when this election was over. The thought was that then then hateful posts, accusatory comments, dreadful debates and disturbing news reports would end. Now however I’m not so sure. Here’s why.
Whatever you nurture grows. There’s been a lot of nurturing going on. Unfortunately what has been nurtured is fear, anger, labeling and distortion. I have seen it from both sides of the proverbial fence and it has been a sad sight to behold. These strangling weeds may not easily wither and go away once the election is done. The roots may have taken hold. The aftermath may be even worse.
Here are a few things to consider as you prepare to vote.
If you are a parent, consider the future of your children. Many are saying this vote won’t determine the next four years, but instead the next forty years. This is a huge issue for me. Children at every stage, in the womb, in the foster care system, children everywhere matter a great deal to me.
If you are a Christian, consider Biblical standards and pray sincerely for direction. Christians are not to vote according to their personal likes or dislikes, they are to use the Word of God to guide their lives.
If you are a thinking person, and I hope you are, consider the consequences of your vote and determine to make your vote and voice heard. Don’t shrug your shoulders and say it doesn’t matter. It does matter. You matter. Even when you see things completely opposite of me, you matter.
And then, consider the possibility that who you choose may not win the election. Consider the possibility that the person you vote for does win but you regret doing so. Where have you put your hope?
The day after the vote is not likely to suddenly let everything return to what we considered normal before this grievous process. Half of the voters are going to be sorely disappointed. That means there will be more opportunity for nurturing hate, fear and anger. There will be new opportunity for labeling, gloating and arrogance.
Unfortunately there are relationships and friendships that will never quite recover. Not because they disagreed with each other but because they demeaned, harangued and belittled each other. That’s what worries me, not the results of the election but the results of broken and estranged relationships.
So, I’m not going to tell you about what I think will or should happen on Election Day. What I’d like to tell you is how I plan to act the day after. Whoever is elected, I will begin to pray for them like I’ve never prayed for an elected official before. I’m going to refuse to argue, debate or participate in the nurturing of the dangerous weeds of hate and despair.
I’m going to focus on doing what I can do instead of incessantly raving about what I can’t do. I’m going to live my life with intention and purpose and integrity. I’m going to look around me and see what needs doing and get busy doing it. I’m going to raise my children, bless my grands, embrace those whom I call family and friends. I’m going to continue to do my best to be the hands and feet of Jesus. What will you do the day after Election Day? What will you nurture? What will you encourage to grow? What will you do?