In just a few days, Canadians will be voting in another federal election. Tensions are high and more people are deciding it is time to start voting, even if they never have before. While some people vote for a particular party they believe their goals and visions are alligned with, many people are at a loss. Several people I have talked with have expressed discontent with the upcoming election. Someone even said point blankly, “it matters not who is elected in. This country is in dire cicumstances regardless.” So what do we even do?
Fifteen years ago if you had told me I would write about politics, I would have laughed in your face. I was not a fan of politics. I was not a fan of politicians. I hated discussing it, and I think I even vowed I would never vote. I believe I went so far as to say it wasn’t important to me. Oh, how naive I was. I wish I could go back and take some of those words back. Now, I can see the importance of voting. Now I can see that political agendas are actually just things that matter to people who live in Canada. Politicians are just people. And we are all free.
It is nice to live in a country where we are free. Free to say what we want say. Free to practice religion. Free to vote for who we feel compelled to vote for. But while we are free to do all these things according to Canadian law, we have to remember that none of these things are free of consequences.
If you follow my blog, you likely know I am a Christian. All that means is that I have been given a second chance at life because Christ died on the cross for my sins. Being a Christian does not mean that I am perfect. Oh, my how far from perfect I truly am. I keep messing up over and over again. I say things I shouldn’t say. I do things I shouldn’t do. I wish I could be perfect, but I fall short of perfection just like everyone else. Still, I need to try. And when I fail, I need to ask for forgiveness and just keep going.
I have fallen short of perfection in regards to this election. I have lost my cool a time or two. Mostly because I don’t like to be bullied into voting for any particular party. I want to be just like any other Canadian with the freedom to vote for whomever I choose. But like a fellow blogger said this week, I am a Christian first and a Canadian second. As a Christian, I need to live like Christ. I need to be a light to the world. A glowing and reliable light, not a flash of fire that rages and then burns out.
Here is what I know to be true. While exercisng my Canadian rights to freedom, I need to find that balance that comes with freedom in Christ. Freedom in Christ is a pouring out the Spirit, giving me the desire to live the life that He has planned for me. The desire to make choices that are God honouring. Galatians 5:13 says, “for you have been called to live in freedom my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love.” While arguing with others about the upcoming election, have I been serving others in love? No. I clearly need a lot of work.
Mercifully, there is hope. Hope seems to be a constant theme in my life. So why not apply it to the election, too? Proverbs 3:6 says, “Seek His will in all you do, and He wll show you which path to take.” This is my answer to this election. It is so simple, really. Instead of looking to the politicians for answers, I should be seeking truth in Christ. So this weekend, before the polls open on Monday, I implore you to pray.
“Don’t worry about anything, instead pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” (Phlippians 4:6-7)
That is my life verse. I need to remind myself of it often. When we are caught in the trappings of this world. When we are lost in political squabbles. When we just do not know how to vote, we can pray. Spirit filled prayer that goes straight from our hearts, to our lips, to the Father. And the best part? Our all knowing God is waiting for us at the other end of this. He already knows who will be the next Prime Minister of Canada. And He’s got a plan.
“If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and He will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. But when you ask Him, be sure that your fath is in God alone. Do not waiver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind.” James 1:5-6