November 9, 2016. Now what?

8 11 2016

Voting is like choosing sides. In every stadium I have ever seen, the opposing teams are separated by a playing field. Each supports their team in varying ways. Like a tug of war the fans try to make more noise that their counterparts across the field. Some cheer for their team while others root against the other. After all, there is only one winner and to choose one team is to reject the other. Cheer or jeer, it all is the same in the end, right? Not, really.

A NY Times poll says 82% of voters are disgusted  with this election. I get it. Opposing sides yell at and over one another. Social Media is an insult littered landscape. Maybe I have forgotten other election’s rhetoric, but this cycle, which seems to have gone on too long,  seems to be  meaner, more personally attacking. In short, we have decided to jeer more than  cheer. From where I sit, the strategy is , ” vote against my opponent. Because if you don’t we are in a lot of trouble.”

Well guess what, one of them is going to win. Then what?!  As a citizen of these United States and as Christian,  I will lift up  the victor because either of them has a task before them that is astronomic in difficulty but affects the entire globe.

The Bible in I Kings 3: vs 16-28 tells a story that I remember from my youth. It is told to recount Solomon’s wisdom. Two women both claiming to be the mother of an infant came before Solomon. After hearing their arguments for maternity rights, he asked for a sword so each would have half of a child. Of course,  one half of a child cannot live.

One of the women said,” Do it, better neither of has a child that she have it”! The other said, ” Spare the child because it is better for the child to live than we each have half of a dead child.”

It seems to apply,  in some measure, to where we are as citizens and voters in the US. After all is said and done, you and I will have to decide how we might choose to move forward.  In the story of Solomon, the life of the baby was more important than winning or denying another victory.

When God said he would grant Solomon one request, Solomon chose wisdom, a listening heart.  I have always thought the woman who loved the child more that winning also had wisdom, a listening heart.

I have voted. In the solitude of the voting booth, I cast my ballot. If you have not, please do. If my vote be in the minority, as it has been in the past, I will pray for and work with the victor,  for the good of the child. May I suggest we all do that.

Yes, I had to choose between candidates. I am sure I did not choose all winners. That is of secondary importance, to me. Because what I really voted for was this child named Democracy.  As civilizations go, a mere infant, this USA.  As history goes, democracy seems to have a limited shelf life. Maybe we can change that.

Blame it on sin. It seems to have no limited shelf life.

Romans 12: 18 speaks to a troubled society and Church.  It reminds us to live at peace with all, as far as it depends on us. That seems wise to remember on November 9. Well, every day. Such is the foundation for a shared future.

As a Christian, I answer to a higher power and authority than any political affiliation or nationality. I do believe that allowing each person a vote and a voice has merit both practically and from my faith perspective. So, for me it is to help nurture this baby named Democracy for our children and grandchildren and follow the baby of Bethlehem, called Jesus.  Maybe you don’t share that belief. That’s also a decision made one person at a time in one’s own personal space. Yes, a vote in solitude.

Whatever one’s ultimate motivation , the end result seems that unless we want  to find ourselves  in a place that is inhabitable, scorched and littered with the dead, we must move forward together, in peace as far as it depends on us. I believe it will help nurture this young child named Democracy and honor the Babe of Bethlehem.

Shalom.

 

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Giving Up to Take In.

18 02 2015

Today is Shrove Tuesday, aka Fat Tuesday. Tomorrow Christians all around the globe will begin the Season of Lent. Lent lasts for 40 days, excluding Sundays.

In the tradition of cleaning out the cabinet of those food items I will abstain from enjoying these next 40 days, I ate waffles with syrup. I am also cleaning out my calendar as I am also taking my last look at Facebook for a season.

I am sure none of my friends will miss my occasional posts. I will miss keeping up with the dessert recipes and game requests (not really)! I will miss the pictures of friends and the comments of encouragement that often fill my pages. I am not sure how I will make it through Lent without Godvine or videos of puppies. 🙂

What I will not miss are  posts and repost that are less-than-kind. This Facebook experience has taught me that I have ” friends” that are very diverse.

IMG_1038appreciate each opinion, free speech and all – well… most of them. But I want a break.  I think I will just unplug.

The main reason is that I want to do something else with the time I spend on Facebook. I want to re-use that time, take on a new practice. Staying connected seems right. So, I decided to take on praying for my Facebook friends,  all of them. Note: While this was something I felt led to do,  an internet search revealed I am not the first to pray for Facebook friends.

Now before you think me overly pious, I have less than 250 Facebook friends. This is a small number in Facebook Land. I am not sure how this will work. Maybe I will get through the list once a day. Maybe it will take a week or more. I plan on praying daily as the Spirit leads and give the Spirit time each day to lead.

So, I guess I am giving up and taking on my Facebook friends; exchanging one medium for another.
Perhaps you might look at those friends listed on your page and join in this journey of prayer. It is not necessary to give up reading or posting to pray for those persons whose names pop up when you click the Friends tab. That just seems the right choice for me.

If you are willing to join me, please let me know by commenting.  Imagine what might happen if we prayed for our Facebook friends!  Think of the cultural, economic, racial, political, religious and a myriad of other divides we might bridge. Tell them about it, if you want. They may have friends they wish to pray for, too. Or not. Personal choice.

Wishing you a Holy Lent.

The Lord be with you. And also with you.

Let us pray….