More important than voting
TBO.comEvery presidential election year, I tell myself that next time I'm going to be more patient with the whole campaign process. Yet when the next one rolls around, I find myself even less tolerant of the long hullabaloo.
Published: September 23, 2012
Published: September 23, 2012
By this season of life I've seen and heard it all before. I already know where I stand on the important issues, and I'm totally disgusted by the mud-slinging and arguing. It all seems so unnecessary.
Eight years ago, I tuned it out by eliminating my home phone — no more robocalls. Four years ago I began muting the television ads. But this time, closing my ears to it just won't do. This time there are two huge differences, for me, compared with other years.
1. Our country is $16 trillion in debt, and no one seems to be doing anything about it.
2. I have a granddaughter now, and I see all of our messes and excesses being passed on to her.
Our country's problems are massive and critical, and it feels like we are on the edge of a cliff. This year, I feel compelled to do something. But what can one middle-aged woman do to make a difference, besides vote and encourage others to do the same? Well, I think I've found it.
There is one other big difference this time around. This time, the campaign clamor includes a massive nationwide call for citizens to pray for our country, our leaders and the election outcome.
It seems to me that this is the most important thing any individual American can do to truly influence the outcome of November's election. Yes, we can vote, and I believe it is vital that we all do so. But, let's not be naive. False advertising can mislead us, and voter fraud could derail the will of the people.
But no one can stop our prayers from reaching the sympathetic ear of the God who loves us all, Republicans and Democrats alike. We don't need to pray for one candidate or the other, just that the best one will win. God knows who he is. He also knows that what seems best to us is not always best in the long run. God is a wise parent, the kind who always gives his children what they need, not just what they want. He always listens to us, but he "hears" us best when we begin by admitting our transgressions and shortcomings — it's called repentance. And we all have a lot of repenting to do. We have royally screwed up the culture of freedom and responsibility handed down to us.
In June of 1787, when the framers were writing the U.S. Constitution, they reached an impasse. It was Benjamin Franklin who addressed the chair saying, "We have been assured, Sir, in the sacred writings that 'except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it.'" So they all went down on their knees and asked God to intervene. Thus, the impasse was broken and the Constitution completed.
This year, millions of Americans have pledged to pray for our country during the last 40 days before the election — Sept. 28 through Nov. 6. More than 20 websites have been established to encourage this prayer commitment and to help participants focus their efforts as scripture directs. The campaign is totally nonpartisan and nondenominational.
So this year, instead of feeling powerless to affect our country's future, why not join me in communicating our concerns to the greatest power in the universe? And watch him do "more than we could ever ask or imagine."