Did you vote today?
We Americans live in such a unique time and place in the world, in that we have some say in the laws and people running our government. Historically, this has not been true—and still is not true—for most of the world. This great responsibility and blessing scares us. Because we have some control, but not all, we get frantic. We desperately try to persuade others to see what we see, and when they don’t, we take it personally. How could they be so blind?
You’ve heard the story of Chicken Little. A naïve little chick gets hit on the head by a falling acorn. In his little bird brain, he figures that the sky must be falling. He goes off to warn the king, shouting along the way, “The sky is falling! The sky is falling!” By the time he reaches the king, Chicken Little gathers a flock of followers, all convinced that the sky is falling and their world is ending. A hungry fox eyes the flock, offering them safety in his den. The frightened animals nearly fall prey to the fox, when the wise and powerful king rescues them, and puts their fears to rest by showing them the trees that they never noticed.
Someone once said, “You can have a movement without a god, but you can’t have a movement without a devil.” This year’s campaigners pulled out all stops to incite fear and outrage—each painting the opposing candidates as devils and their ideas as doctrines of demons. Negative emotion is, unfortunately, a very powerful form of persuasion. For months, they’ve been crying out, “America can’t survive,” “Time is running out,” and “We’re losing our freedoms.” All I hear is, “The sky is falling!”
Hold on, Chicken Little. The sky is not falling. America survived slavery. We survived segregation. We survived McCarthyism, Watergate, just and unjust wars, terrorist attacks, plagues, poverty and disasters. We’ve chosen evil leaders and assassinated good ones. Yet somehow, by the grace of God, we got through it. Christians should not be surprised when the country picks leaders and laws that conflict with what we believe and know to be right (even if we disagree on what that means). The way of righteousness is a narrow road, and only a few will find it. The Bible presupposes that people will have no say in their government. Even if, God forbid, we did lose our say, God would still hold each one of us in his merciful hands, as he always has.
Advertisers tell us that if our guy gets elected, if our law gets passed, everything will be OK. As you watch for the election results tonight, keep this in mind: Even if your guy does not get elected, even if your law does not get passed, it will still be OK. Our wise and powerful God sees more than we do. And just maybe, he’s rescuing us from a fox.
What about you? Have you experienced conflict or negative emotion over this election season? Did you vote? How do you feel about the results? For those outside of the United States, what is your impression of American elections?