Worried About the Election?

I have had emails from good friends expressing their concern about the election.  One shudders at the thought of Obama’s election and what will happen to the country-alas, the entire world-in the aftermath.  Another asks me about Sarah Palin and any qualms I might have should she accede to the presidency. 

I’m not worried about either one. 

Call me an ostrich, but I’ve done my reading, made my decision, and have firmly set this topic to the side.  How, exactly, will worrying about it change the results?  I firmly believe that God is sovereign over all, including American, British, Peruvian and Zimbabwean elections. (Yikes! Does Peru even hold elections?) So my hope is in the Lord, not in McCain, Obama, or any third party candidate. 

A verse that has impacted my life was part of our family Bible reading the day of my mom’s sudden death.

Trust in Him at all time:
ye people, pour out your heart before Him;
God is a refuge for us.
~ Psalm 62:8

I don’t believe that the solution to our problems will come from a politician, a political party or a government.  I know that the policies of either candidate will have their effect on my personal life, but I’m still choosing to trust God and thank Him for whomever He gives us.

One of the reasons I’m not worked up about this election is that I don’t watch, listen to or read the daily news. (Well, I do read our daily local paper, but, folks, it varies from 8-12 pages in length.) I believe a steady diet of CNN or Fox News or any other network will produce tension, anxiety, restlessness and discontent. 

But to keep it honest, I occasionally read articles and essays online.  It’s not that I’m not interested in current events, cultural trends, editorials or news events.  I just want to think and read about them from a longer perspective than the bites of daily news.

An obscure sentence in a book I read long ago impacted me.

My own dad spent hours reading the newspaper. 
I have often thought how much broader his world would have been if he had read more books.     
   ~ Gladys Hunt in Read for Your Life 

Also key in influencing my thinking: Neil Postman’s fabulous book Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business, in which he discusses information over-load and how we receive dump-loads of facts which have no relevance to our daily lives.   

I came to realize that the energy and passion I was putting into politics seemed to dissipate into thin air with nothing left to show for it.  I chose to spend time with books–good books–which would nourish my soul and stimulate my mind.

I want to emulate the Proverbs 31 woman:  “She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.” 

Please don’t take this as a slam of news wonks or political junkies.  It is just my apology for not getting worked up over the election.  I welcome dissenting opinions. 



12 thoughts on “Worried About the Election?

  1. Amen to every word! I have spent too much time and effort watching the news of late and I am about to quit it! Like you, I know who I am going to vote for and that is enough. May I share your post with others?

  2. This is a great, great post (in my humble opinion).It helps to put politics into perspective to see the comings and goings of History. How easily, how quickly, poverty follows richness (maybe we are seeing it nowadays), war follows peace. How Nations rise, change or even dissappear. Not to talk about Governments: how small they are! I still find accurated the medieval notion of “the wheel of Fortune”. Don’t put your heart, your hope, on politics or economics: sooner or later they’ll fail.In “Spe Salvi” (Saved in Hope) Benedict XVI writes something about this (if the quote is allowed…):”God is the foundation of hope: not any god, but the God who has a human face and who has loved us to the end, each one of us and humanity in its entirety. His Kingdom is not an imaginary hereafter, situated in a future that will never arrive; his Kingdom is present wherever he is loved and wherever his love reaches us. His love alone gives us the possibility of soberly persevering day by day, without ceasing to be spurred on by hope, in a world which by its very nature is imperfect.”

  3. @toomanyhats – Carol.  Carol.  I struggle with discipline.  If my husband read your comment, I’m afraid he would laugh.  But thank you for your comment.@mamapiano – Dorrice, thank you for your kind words, and-of course-you may share this.  @Alfonso – Thank you, Alfonso.  Thanks for the quote too. (You are welcome to add quotes anytime.)  I especially liked “his Kingdom is present” but I think it is present even where God is hated.  We sing a Christmas Carol (Joy to the World) where the last verse says “He rules the world with truth and grace and makes the nations prove the glories of his righteousness.”

  4. The main thing is, you are making use of your privilege to vote. One of the discussions my English son-in-law and i have been having lately is that in other countries (England, and Canada where another friend comes from) there is a broader spectrum of news than we get in the States. Our news centers on us, other countries see the value in a bigger picture. Naturally, that isn’t as BIG a picture as God has and as we have in history! i think where i worry (i’ll just admit it now–i tend to that entirely unnecessary character flaw) is in having seen how God allows man to make poor choices in leaders (even in churches) and then lets them live out the consequences. i know God is in charge, but i do worry about having to live with man’s choices!

  5. Carol, I agree completely.  I’m not worried about the election.  (Now if I could only say the same thing about the economy….but I’m not worrying about it TOO much, either.)  I will vote with my kids this Friday, early voting in IL because they will both be home for Fall break and it’s a more sure thing to vote early than to wait on the absentee ballots to come.  I’ll go ahead and vote so if I get called to work on election day, it won’t be a problem.Postman’s book influenced me, too.  I used to feel guilty for not following the news more closely, but after reading his book, I realized my following or not following the “sound bites of the day” didn’t make me more or less educated on the issues.  I have watched a lot more news since we got satellite TV and I notice it makes me a bit more worried and dissatisfied in general.  NOT a good thing.  Blessings,Sandy

  6. Carol,  Luke will be back at King’s then. He’s only home for from Thursday night through Sunday.  Too short, but I’ll be so glad to see his face.  I emailed him the link about the Hitchens/Wilson debate.  He saw Hitchens and Denesh D’Souza (sp?) last spring.  I’m sure he will see the Hitchens/Wilson debate and I can’t wait to hear about it from him. He’s had so many good opportunities lately we never have time to talk about them!Thanks for the link!Oh, I meant to add to my earlier comment how much your scripture blessed me and how special it is that you read it the day your Mother died.  The fact that the ten Boom family read Psalm 91 the day of their arrest has always given me chills.  Your scripture does, too.Blessings,Sandy

  7. Hello Carol, Neil Postman’s book affected me the same way.  I realized then that much news is “created” to make us worry!  Learning to read the Bible in depth also changed my level of worrying about world affairs.  Truly we serve a sovereign God and who is aware of every leader’s heart.  I am amazed at how often in the Bible God used an ungodly person to carry out His will.  And how ungodly leaders were often a punishment for people who had turned away from Him.  When I really understood Psalm 2 (that God laughs at those who think they have authority and power) I eased up on anxiety over world affairs.  Thanks for another thoughtful post.

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