Wednesday, September 03, 2008

AND THEY'RE OFF! ELECTIONS IN FULL SWING


And I dread every minute of it. I absolutely hate election years. Why? Because of what it does to people, including me. That is, until two years ago when God's simple question shot like an arrow into my heart.

Here is what happened.

I meet every Thursday with a fantastic group of writers and we critique each other's work. A few years ago, one fellow read a poem about a political figure that I supported and it was really critical and just wrong. I saw red. I wrote on his page, "beautifully written, terribly wrong."

On the way home I fumed. I had enough of the double-standard. But even worse, I was building walls against him. That was the problem with elections. I wasn't comfortable with anyone who was openly against the people I supported in the elections.

Instead of us being Americans, it was more like "them and us."

As my angry fever reached high pitch, I heard in my spirit, "Will there be Democrats or Republicans in Heaven?" What if the world ended tonight? Would political parties matter? What if he died tonight? Would he have known my love for him? Have you shown him my love?"

I hadn't.

I took my foot off the gas pedal, slowed down, and let those questions untangle my crowded thoughts of anger and hate.

Oh, God. I've fallen so short of your love. Please forgive me.

And He did.

From that night, I vowed to make sure this man knew he was loved. It didn't change his political colors, but that wasn't my goal. I made sure to be the Lords hand extended to him.

The next year he died of cancer.

This election year we must look at everyone through our Father's eyes. He loves us all. Let's not confuse issues with people. I will have to admit, the media makes it hard to love, since there is not story on peace and love, only hate and strife.

I heard an interview with William Young about his book, "The Shack." He said that he doesn't ask himself WWJD (what would Jesus do?) He said he asks himself, What Is Jesus Doing.

Well, what is He doing during this election season? He is loving. When we vote, as Christians, we should vote according to His teachings and that is where our focus should be. Not kill the messengers.

We must not rely on the media to spoon feed us their take on all issues, we must be responsible and do our own research.

Above all, we must pray. For all candidates, the elections, and the media. Pray the scriptures. Remember who our enemy really is. According to Ephesians 6, our enemy is not flesh and blood. Our enemies are the rulers and authorities and powers of this dark world, the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly realms.

Therefore our enemies cannot be John McCain, Sarah Palin, Barack Obama, or Joe Biden.

Our prayer should be: "Let God arise and His enemies (Eph. 6) be scattered!"
Our attitude should be: love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, kindness, faithfulness and self-control.
Our actions should be responsible, civil, and well researched.

We are one people. We are Americans. United we stand. Divided we fall. And if we fall, we will all regret that we let petty differences and power grabs, steal from us the greatest freedoms this world has ever known.