Today is election day. Did you know that? You probably did. We have been bombarded with advertisements and mailers and pop-ups for days, weeks and months now. The hyperbole of course has reached fever pitch recently as we arrive at this day of decision... and if you believe the hype, this is THE most significant, crucial, life changing, future altering election in the history of mankind. Just like every other election has been.
Both parties have released ads saying “Vote as if your life depends on it - because it does!”. Of course, that’s not true. Tonight, approximately half the country will go to bed happy and approximately half the country will go to bed mad, but tomorrow morning the sun will rise again and nearly everyone will get up, make breakfast and go about their day. Not the protesters of course, they’ll all need to get some rest after a full night of rioting. Not that they have jobs to got to anyway, but or the rest of us, life will go on.
Now I’m not saying that elections aren’t important, but I am saying for most of us they are not a matter of life and death. Except of course in the matter of abortion, but that will be another post.
After all the campaigning, all the hyperbole, all the craziness it’s important for us to take a step back and regain some perspective on politics, presidents, and people. I realized a long time ago that politics is a matter of lifestyle, but not a matter of life. You see God grants us LIFE, but politics only grants us a LIFESTYLE.
Take these three words - Life, Lifestyle, and Living. Throughout the campaigning these three words have featured prominently. You have heard these phrases for sure. “Right to Life”, “Middle-class Lifestyle”, or “Alternate Lifestyle”, and of course “A Living Wage”.
Lifestyle is an interesting word these days. It has become a little ambiguous in its meaning. I think lifestyle used to mean a way of life, or a standard of living.
These days when we talk about “Lifestyle”, some might think first about a WAY of living, personal choices, and morality. Issues like abortion, or identity, or other personal choices - “My right to choose”.
Others will think first about a STANDARD of living, financial freedom, wealth and prosperity. The ability to compete in a free and fair marketplace. To earn and amass wealth and possessions. If we are honest we will admit that elections are really about creating or protecting a certain lifestyle.
God Himself grants us life. Life is a gift.
We get to choose our lifestyle by how we vote, the laws we approve, the politicians we elect. Lifestyle is a choice. By lifestyle of course I mean standard of living and the freedoms we enjoy, others will think about an alternative morality. All of us agree elections matter because the government we choose will choose for us the laws we will live under, which ultimately will affect both the way we live, and our standard of living.
If life is a gift, lifestyle is a choice, then a living must be earned.
In a free society like ours I get to earn a living. No guarantees of course but if I work hard and make good choices, generally I will be rewarded with a good living.
As children of God we need to remember that the kingdoms of this earth are nothing compared to the kingdom of God. Matters of life, matters of morality, matters of eternity all belong to God. We must never look to politicians to grant us, or guarantee us any of those things. For these things we must look to God. God alone grants me the right to life, liberty, peace, and the pursuit of happiness.
As a society we get to decide how we shall be governed. What laws we shall collectively live under. The rules that will govern how our society operates. For these things we look to government.
As individuals we get to employ our strengths, our abilities, our faith, and our opportunities to create the best life we can.
No matter what party or what person wins the election I will place my hope is in God, I will do my best to foster a society that is good for all, and I will take responsibility for my own life and choices.
Of course I have strong opinions about how I would like to be governed. I have strong opinions about laws, and taxes, about the size of government and it’s reach into my private world. I would prefer to live under laws that reflect the will and purpose of God, and I would wish that others could enjoy the same privileges and opportunities. But at the end of day I choose to remember that God is on His throne, immoveable, unshakable, unimpeachable, eternal. Kings and kingdoms, presidents and nations will all come and go... but one thing remains, and when I wake up tomorrow morning I will choose to seek that one thing.
As far as the election goes I might be disappointed, or I might be pleased... but I won’t be shaken!