About this time of the year, EVERY YEAR, Doris and I get into a heated argument. This is the time she buys the new fall cushions to go on the couch. They replace the new summer cushions that we bought in June to replace the new spring cushions that we got in April…you get the picture. And the argument that ensues is not whether or not we buy cushions, (I lost that argument long ago), the argument is what to do with the 3,532 cushions that we have packed in boxes in the garage. Goodwill? Huge pillow fight? Plant them in the garden and see if we can grow more cushions? It is a MAJOR decision, which again I always lose, and we end up keeping them “just in case.” (Just in case the cushion rapture happens and suddenly we are left behind with only our bare sofa?)
On November 4, our nation will face the most important decision it has ever faced. No, I did not get the date wrong. I know the 2020 presidential election is November 3. I have seen a few ads! That is vitally important and I hope you have been praying about it. But frankly, it, like the cushions in the garage, will just be added to the collection of the many elections that have come and gone before.
I voted in my first presidential election in 1972, Richard Nixon and George McGovern. I have voted in every election since then, 12 of them. This will be my 13th. One thing I have noticed over this baker’s dozen of elections, no candidate that I voted for and put my trust in, once elected, has quite lived up to the hype and hope that we placed in him before the election. And no candidate that I did not vote for, and was sure would be the end of civilization as we know it, once elected, was quite as bad or demonic, as I allowed myself to believe. Politics being what it is, in many cases it has been about as eventful as changing the couch cushions.
Now that is not to say that this election does not matter, or that there is not much at stake; maybe as much as ever, but the other consistent in these ballot battles has been that God was on the throne before the election and He was on the throne after the election. If we believe, as I do, that God was involved in the birth of this country, and the genius of the democratic process, then we pray, we cast our vote, and we leave the results (and the results of the results) up to Him.
Which brings me back to the most important decision we have ever faced, November 4, 2020. On that day, the election will be over and the winner will be declared, (I know, I know, wishful thinking.) Well, on SOME day shortly after that, the election will be over and the winner will be declared. Then we will be faced with the choice of putting the rancor and vitriol behind us, rallying together again as a country, AND ESPECIALLY AS THE PEOPLE OF GOD, and seeking His guidance and governance for our selected leader. As corny and as cliché’ish as it sounds, whoever is elected will be our president and it is in our best interest to take that person to God DAILY and ask for God’s direction and blessing for him or her. We, as Christ-followers, keep fighting to be able to say we are “One Nation Under God.” On November 4 we will decide if we really are.
I’m no political guru but I am pretty confident that on November 4 about 50% of the American population will be at least happy if not ecstatic, and about 50% will be disappointed if not devasted. And many of those on the devasted side will begin immediately to criticize, attack, and demean everything that the ecstatic side stands for. It’s always been the case, at least in the last 12 elections that I was a part of. We might be tempted to say, “Well, look how the other side treated my candidate. Look at how unfair the media has been to my person. Look at what my neighbor has done to my yard signs.” And, we might be right in all of that. But does that change the choice that I make now, today, to demonstrate my trust in The One who puts kings and presidents in place? To follow Hebrews 13:17 in its wisdom of how I relate to human rulers. I contend that the greatest thing I can do for the country and for the Kingdom of God on November 4 is to put my Jesus britches on and vow to support and pray for my president.
Now, I’m pretty sure that this little blog is not going to change the outcome of the election. I am equally as sure that it will not change the “electoral” response of society as a whole, but it can change it for me, maybe for you. I can choose on that day to refuse to stay in the hatred and bitterness that has become the normal operating political procedure. Instead, I can choose to pray for, respect, believe in, and honor, not the person, but the office that God has ordained and the human being that He has allowed to hold that office. And that, dear friends, I believe is the most important decision we have ever faced.
The second most important decision? Do we go with the autumn orange cushions this year or the fall green? God help us!
Could it be that just as God allowed Satan to test Job, God is allowing Satan to test the United States?
I am sure that is part of what we face Carol. And may God help us to pass the test.