5 years ago
I just voted... for the very first time in my life.
Yep, that's right. Before today (2 hours ago, actually) I had never voted in any election, for any reason. Shocking, I know, but there's always been a good reason, I promise. The first time I was able to vote was 1996, and I intended to vote in the presidential elections (Clinton's second term) but for some reason my registration didn't go through in time; my 18th birthday was just about two weeks before election day. The next presidential election was in 2000 (W's first term), and I was all ready to vote, got to the polls, and they told me they didn't have my name on the list, AGAIN. This time it was because the DMV didn't notice (?) that I had checked the "yes, register me to vote" box when I renewed my license. I actually got an apology from a DMV worker saying that the ball was dropped on their end. So, no vote that year either. In 2004 (W's second term) I was living in Nashville and my absentee ballot didn't arrive in the mail on time for me to fill it out and mail it back. Another home-run for the system, thanks guys!
Now, I realize that voting occurs more often than every 4 years, but I had never voted in any other elections either. I don't know why, other than I've never been "in to" politics and all that. Not that I didn't care... just that I didn't care enough, or more accurately, I didn't know enough to care. Perhaps that's irresponsible, but at this point, it's neither here nor there. Right now at this point in my life, I'm learning a bit more about political things and am starting to fill out in the knowledge area. (I'm getting political curves! haha) I am definitely grateful, very grateful, for the privilege of voting, and even more so for the privilege of praying for the leaders of my country. As far as my thoughts on the candidates? Neither of them is a savior (or, "just what this country needs!"). I think it's ridiculous to view them as such, and I've been seeing/hearing a lot of talk that approaches that, which makes me tend to back away from the issues rather than get all fired up about them. But ya gotta give me some credit, I have been trying to do the opposite by exposing myself to the issues and think through things in order to make an informed decision, and that's been very interesting. I'm still not gung-ho about either candidate or all the issues, but I AM gung-ho about praying for our country... just as I pray for the rest of the world; that we would trust in the saving power of Jesus, even if our world comes crashing down around us; and not confuse [American] patriotism with Christianity, but to glorify God in all I do, including voting. At this point in my journey of political knowledge, that's my over-arching mindset.
There are two songs that have been circling through my mind today, both by Derek Webb. The first is called A King And A Kingdom, and speaks about the concept that our loyalty is not to a fleeting world power, but to Jesus and His eternal Kingdom that will never pass away.
A King And A Kingdom
Who is your brother? Who is your sister?
You just walked past him. I think you missed her,
As we’re all migrating to a place where our father lives
Because we married into a family of emigrants.
So my first allegiance is not to a flag, a country, or a man
My first allegiance is not to democracy or blood.
It’s to a king and kingdom.
There are two great lies that I’ve heard.
The day you eat of the fruit of that tree, you will not surely die.
And that Jesus Christ was a white middle class republican
And if you want to be saved you have to learn to be like him.
So my first allegiance is not to a flag, a country, or to a man.
My first allegiance is not to democracy or blood
It’s to a king and a kingdom.
But nothing unifies like a common enemy
And we’ve got one, sure as hell.
He may be living in your house.
He may be raising up your kids.
He may be sleeping with your wife.
He may not look like you think.
And the second, A Savior On Capitol Hill is less about the eternal Kingdom and more about not putting all our hope (sound familiar?) into a man who is, like me, crooked deep down.
A Savior On Capitol Hill
I’m so tired of these mortal men
with their hands on their wallets and their hearts full of sin
scared of their enemies, scared of their friends
and always running for re-election
so come to DC if it be thy will
because we’ve never had a savior on Capitol Hill
you can always trust the devil or a politician
to be the devil or a politician
but beyond that friends you’d best beware
’cause at the Pentagon bar they’re an inseparable pair
and as long as the lobbyists are paying their bills
we’ll never have a savior on Capitol Hill
all of our problems gonna disappear
when we can whisper right in that President’s ear
he could walk right across the reflection pool
in his combat boots and ten thousand dollar suit
you can render unto Caesar everything that’s his
you can trust in his power to come to your defense
it’s the way of the world, the way of the gun
it’s the trading of an evil for a lesser one
so don’t hold your breath or your vote until
you think you’ve finally found a savior up on Capitol Hill
So while I know that I should learn more, and take advantage of the awesome privilege of voting, at the same time my loyalties and my hope lie in the ultimate King. And while I am unashamedly, proudly American, I'm first and foremost a champion of the Glory of God and His saving Gospel. And I'm going to take the most action on "getting the word out" to win people over to His party.