Monday, November 3, 2008

Election Day

In case you have been living under a rock and do not know, tomorrow is Election Day. We get to head to the polls (unless you voted early or absentee) and vote for the candidates of our choice. In most places, there are probably several choices to be made and perhaps questions to answer. But most of the attention has been on the race for the White House. This is our opportunity to participate in the process of deciding who will serve as our President and lead our country for the next four years.

Maybe I am just paying more attention, but it seems that emotions are higher than usual. You see Democrats saying nasty things about Republicans, and Republicans saying nasty things about Democrats. I've received emails from Obama supporters telling me I'd be crazy to vote for McCain. I've received emails from McCain supporters telling me I'd be crazy to vote for Obama. I've heard people on both sides suggesting that they are going to have to leave the country if the other candidate wins; predicting gloom and doom.

I have no interest in engaging in political debate here. I do hope, however, that everyone votes regardless of the candidate that they support. As I said above, it is an opportunity to participate in making a potentially significant decision. But, I digress.

It used to be said that you should avoid discussion of religion or politics in polite company. Yet, after spending multiple days with clients and potential clients last week, I can tell you that very few people were avoiding politics. People talked about it all the time. It is clearly no longer taboo. There are multiple cable channels and radio shows devoted to nothing else. It is everywhere in the main stream media.

But, for the most part, the taboo around discussing religion still exists. Why? Why don't we talk about religion; about our beliefs? Isn't that a little bit more important than politics? Instead of who will be President, who will provide for and care for our eternal soul? I'm no better about this than anyone else. Sure, there are some people that I talk to regularly about the importance of my faith and my attempts to live a life guided by that faith. But mostly I write here, in a pseudo-anonymous forum, where I don't even really know who is reading. If you are trying to figure it all out, like I am, I strongly encourage you to find opportunities to discuss your beliefs. Surround yourself with people that help you to grow; with people that will not hesitate to call you out - in a supportive way - when you wander; with others that will participate in the exploration with you. Literally from Genesis on, the Bible speaks of community and fellowship. There are two particular encouragements on this topic that spoke to me today:

"May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ." Romans 15:5-6 (NIV)

"Real wisdom, God's wisdom, begins with a holy life and is characterized by getting along with others. It is gentle and reasonable, overflowing with mercy and blessings, not hot one day and cold the next, not two-faced. You can develop a healthy, robust community that lives right with God and enjoy its results only if you do the hard work of getting along with each other, treating each other with dignity and honor." James 3:17 (The Message)

Remember, tomorrow is Election Day. We elect our next President. The person that will govern our county for the next four years. But in a much larger sense, every day is Election Day. Each day, each of us are given the opportunity to make our choice about who will rule our lives forever.

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