Election Day is a day away and living in a battleground state feels like being the lone bachelor on a reality show in which contestants fight over you. I have received more phone calls, mailings, and emails begging for my vote than I can ever remember. I do not answer surveys or political calls. I don’t want to chat about my views. I don’t want to share my thoughts. I also am tired of seeing good friends argue back and forth on Face Book and social media about the election. Some folks post dozens of status updates about the latest rumor or quote. Some of what I read is very mean spirited and makes me uncomfortable.
As a pastor I do not share my political views in the pulpit or among my church. I pastor Republicans, Democrats, and others who prefer no classification or a third party identity or even none at all. On my Facebook I once listed my political party as a member of the “Legion of Super Heroes.” I really do believe my job is not to promote earthly kingdoms but God’s kingdom. And yet I still get to hear plenty of opinions from friends and strangers alike about each candidate. It can be awkward and very uncomfortable.
I was at the YMCA when a candidate recently came to town and several folks loudly began to share their opinions. The same week I was at a book sale and the lady beside me began to complain about a candidate again as if she assumed every rational being would surely agree with her opinion.
So November 6 is coming. I’m more excited about November 7. I hope we do not have a repeat from a previous election and that on that date we can actually know the results. Some say we won’t. But I hope so. I hope November 7 will be a good day. I hope that we can celebrate that no matter who won we live in free country where we can vote again four years later. I hope we can be thankful there were no tanks or soldiers standing at the polls. I hope we can be grateful that our voices can be heard even when we might want to think about how we say what we think.
I’ve heard some say this is the most important election ever. Friends have declared that there will no longer be an America if the ‘other guy’ wins (and both sides say this). I have heard this every four years. Don’t get me wrong. I realize there are big changes when an election happens. I am aware that our nation is struggling in many ways with the economy, health care, and other major issues. I believe we should each vote and I will be there early on November 6 to do just that.
And still I will be so glad when November 7 comes.