Monday, November 3, 2008

God Bless America!

Yesterday my husband and I spent the day with some old college friends who recently moved back to town, Chad and Abbi. Chad was recently hired at the church we attend as the "Missions Minister". He and his wife told us a lot about some of their trips to China, India, and Nicaragua. It's funny how we get in our little bubble and don't spend much time thinking about what the church is like for those in other parts of the world. I was floored with some of the things he was telling me about how hard it is to be a Christian in a communist nation like China. How hard it is to simply meet with others. And it was then when I was given a new gratitude about how awesome our nation is that we have the freedom to believe whatever we want to believe and are not imprisoned or fined or beaten for our beliefs. Voting is a privilege that many have given their lives for and we should be thankful every day for the rights that we have.

My sister writes a weekly column for a small Kansas newspaper. She always emails me her column. I really liked this one and thought I'd post it in honor of the election tomorrow.

Teetering on the edge of the political scene
By Alisa Franz

While sitting at my computer, contemplating the presidential race, I read this excerpt from my cousin’s (Phil Kornegay) blog in Japan:
“Yesterday I left the house with two loads of clothes hanging out in an overcast sky, drying in the gentle breeze. Wasn’t on the road 10 minutes when the rain started. I get back and the clothes are soaked. Thus, I sit in the coin laundromat at 9 p.m.
“A middle age man is unloading his clothes from the washer. Instead of dumping the little basket into the dryer, he took each shirt, each sock, etc. out one at a time, examined it and shook it, I’m assuming to get out wrinkles?
“Then he slowly folded the shirts and stacked them inside the dryer. Again, I assumed he’s just using it as a table, although there was one right behind him.
“But no. With the clothes finally folded and neatly stacked inside the dryer, he put his 100 yens in, closed the door and pushed the dry button. He walked away to the bathroom while his clothes tumbled away.
“Huh? Is there, in any culture, a logical reason for doing this? Why waste all that time shaking and folding when the clothes are instantly jumbled around two seconds after pushing start?
“The answer is - like tons of other little mysteries here – that there is no reason. I think it was just his habit, a habit that he enjoyed and didn’t see any reason to change, despite all the evidence that the process is a complete waste of time and energy.
“In an unrelated incident (at least I think, unrelated) another laundry customer kept jumping up and hitting the button on my dryer. Again, it was for no apparent reason except maybe she enjoyed the beep on my machine better than the sound hers made.
“Why do people continue in habits they hope have some meaning, despite all the evidence to the contrary?
“I’m sure this is connected in some way to why our neighbor, a seemingly sane man, washes his car every night. No kidding. Every night ... buckets, rags, soap, around 9 p.m. every night.
“I guess we all have our rituals that don’t make sense to anyone but ourselves.
“Well, time to go, the weather report calls for rain and the sky is cloudy with no chance of sun, I should probably baffle my neighbors and put some more clothes out to dry.”
This morning you will read this and know who was elected the 44th President. Like it or not, the fact is, he is the new commander-in-chief.
Unfortunately, I do not possess a love for politics. I purposely have chosen to teeter on the edge of the political scene, knowing just enough to make my vote dangerous.
Before the election, both of my kids asked me who they were “supposed” to vote for if they were old enough. The phrasing of this question caused me to carefully consider how I would answer this question.
I told them both that I am typically a more conservative, Republican voter. I don’t like to vote based on one issue but that some issues are definitely more important to me than others.
Yesterday, I took my voter’s card to my assigned polling place. This year I tried not to vote out of habit or ritual, but to make an informed decision as to who I believe will best run our country based on the Biblical principle’s I under which I work to adhere.
This year I hope I made my vote really count.
I will assuage my fears if those that I did not vote for are elected. I will support the elected and pray that our nation’s leaders will make decisions that are wise and protect our country’s Biblical foundations.
I have taught my kids to “rise up, stand firm and shine bright.” I expect the same from our leaders. Although, voters must keep in mind that these officials are humans and grace and mercy must be shown, even to those who are expected be above reproach.

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