A few weeks ago, I was reminded of the heritage of America while at a conference in Washington D.C. The dome of the capital against the blue sky was juxtaposed with the empty cup of a homeless man. The mass of information and beauty contained in the Smithsonian was juxtaposed with the simplicity of a child enjoying a hot pretzel. We are a nation that protects freedom. Sometimes that freedom exalts and sometimes it fails to protect. Either way, we are Americans and freedom is our heritage.
This year, our freedom as Americans calls us to a certain responsibility – the responsibility to vote.
My dad was mayor of the small town of Lafayette, Indiana. He was a factory worker who became discontent with the politics of our town and decided to challenge the establishment. He won and became mayor by a vote of 9,187 to 8,060. My dad believed in voting. He never missed an election, large or small. He was a citizen who was proud of his rights and aware of his responsibilities.
I’m humbled by my dad’s example of citizenship and public service. More than that, though, I am grateful for the legacy he left me. Never will I take my right to vote for granted, and never will I malign what it takes to be a public servant who holds office.
So, I encourage you to remember that when you vote in the primaries and in the general election this year, you are doing more than just expressing favor for a candidate. When you vote, you are practicing a freedom that was bought at a very high price by those who came before you.
At the conference in D.C., I was faced with another juxtaposition – the juxtaposition of grace. The brokenness required for surrender was juxtaposed with the power of God’s healing love. Only in receiving God’s love do we find the capacity to give. Only in letting go do we find the strength to hold on. We are a free people who have been bought at a high price. Because of God’s grace, we are free citizens of a spiritual, perfect reality that extends far beyond the borders of our earthly, imperfect nation.
Our freedom as Christians calls us to a certain responsibility as well – the responsibility to pray joyfully.
We know that the “effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” James 5:16b (NKJV). Implore God on behalf of our country. Ask Him to protect us and to do His will in this election season. Just as you responsibly exercise your freedom as an American this election year, please responsibly exercise your freedom as a believer this week, as well!
As for your checkbook and the economy, I encourage you to do as you have been doing. Pay attention so that you are informed. Take personal responsibility for your finances. Make changes where you know you need to, and seek advice where you are unsure. No matter the outcome of this year’s election, your finances are protected by the scriptural principles of financial management.