Putting my drop in the bucket

November 4, 2008 | By | Add a Comment

I haven’t always been very involved with politics. I think the biggest reason is because I don’t like politics. I am particularly sensitive to disharmony and I don’t like all the ugliness that comes out with each election. I don’t like the advertisements and put-downs. I don’t like the feelings of intellectual superiority that arise on both sides of complex issues. I don’t like the lack of listening, humility and love.

I went to vote this morning with some anxiety. I was anxious about whether I had the right identification and what the parking situation would be like. I eyed the demonstrators outside with intense suspicion. When I got indoors I was a little nervous that I was in the wrong line and that some mean older lady would yell at me because I hadn’t followed their unclearly defined process (flashbacks to the DMV). Most of all, though, I was anxious and concerned about the direction of our country.

I also wondered about all the volunteers. I wondered if they were going to fairly count my vote and if there would be some shenanigans that would prevent the true winner from winning. I didn’t just think about my town, but towns across the nation. Something big was happening and I wanted things to be fair.

When I went into my little booth, I felt an even greater sense of importance. I had a clearly defined and private space where I could reflect on our nation and make my decisions without anyone watching me or telling me what to do. I did spend time learning about the issues and ramifications, but now I could decide on my own. It was just me, a pen, and a bunch of names on a paper. I could direct my pen to the bubbles next to the names of the people I best saw fit. Taking a cue from Spider-Man, I reflected upon great responsibility coming with great power.

At the top of the page was a place to cast the vote for President of the United States of America. I recalled looking over my passport on the drive over and flipping through the little book upon first receiving it. Inside the front cover are lines from the Star Spangled Banner. “O say, does that Star Spangled banner yet wave. O’er the land of the free, and the home of the brave.” On the first page is a quote from Abraham Lincoln. Flipping through the book some more, I see words from the Constitution and quotes from former presidents. In the midst of colorful pages pointing to a rich history, I see my picture and name.

For months I have been seeing these candidates on television. They are celebrities. Though I don’t necessarily agree with them, I look up to them. Soon, I will be counting on them. Now, they are the ones counting on me. I am the one whose favor they are trying to win. No matter how much of a drop in a bucket my vote may be, it is still a drop.

For once, the playing field is somewhat leveled. A vote does not count more depending on whether you are young or old, male or female, popular or unpopular. My vote counts as much as the vote of the potential candidates. Although it is a small, I have recovered a bit of my voice and sometimes small things lead to great things and the day of small beginnings is never to be despised.

As my pen makes it’s way to the circle, I have an even better sense that I am a part of something big that is happening. A major decision is being made that will impact generations to come and I am being asked to weigh in (though countless other equally important decisions are being made each day). No matter how small it may seem, I have influence and no matter which candidates win, I have the responsibility to live out my beliefs in a manner that will bring God glory. I also have a responsibility to love the mean ladies at the checkout lines because they have been made in God’s image as well.

I think about the many ways that I have fallen short. I think about how our nation continues to drift away from the God and Godly principles it was founded upon. I think that what I need and what our country needs the most right now is prayer. Prayer that God will purify my heart and our collective hearts. Prayer that God will draw our hearts back toward Himself, have mercy on us and heal our land.

What is most clear to me once again is that our lives matter. Counting is the key word in all of this. You count. I count. My vote counts. We all count on each other.

 “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people.” – Proverbs 14:34


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Category: Musings

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