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My soapbox post for this year….

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This week has been crazy busy at work. I have been running almost non-stop during the day and then had meetings/practice at night. It helps the time go by fast, but boy am I tired! I am very ready for a nice weekend.

I am also ready for election season to be over. I am trying hard to walk the line of understanding and debate, but some comments can be really inflammatory (from any direction) and it is exhausting! I am however, looking forward to voting! Jerry and I are devoting some time this weekend to really understand the local elections. We believe that is just as important (if not more) than the Presidential and larger races so we want to be sure we know where we stand on everything – from President to Judges and education, etc. We decided to wait to vote until Tuesday. Mostly because I just love election day and it’s sort of like a holiday to me. My parents always took me with them to the polls when I was a child, so it’s always been a big deal. Also we get to vote at the school that is within walking distance of our house so we can go as a family! And finally, Krispy Kreme is giving away a free donut to anyone who shows up with their ‘I voted’ sticker that day 😉 It’s all about priorities people!!!

That being said, I know that election season brings out the passion in all of us that that is a really good thing. Those of you that read this blog (that I know of) are all my friends and I respect your values and reasoning when it comes to who you have chosen to vote for. I honestly think it is possible to disagree on solutions, but know that we all are concerned about the same things. I am so glad to be surrounded by thoughtful, interested people who want to make a difference!

I was really struck by our pastor’s message a couple weeks ago. I am a Christian as hopefully all of you know and his reminder was that our real hope is not in these men, but in Jesus. At first glance, that seems like a provincial ideal. But I have to tell you that once I latched onto that as THE reality, I have really been able to relax about the outcome of this election. I encourage anyone to listen to it here. I plan to listen again over the weekend.

The fact is, Christians should be involved in every part of society, including politics. But the way they(we) operate should not be any different than any other part of life in that what it means to be a follower of Jesus is to let Him guide you in all things. This includes not passing judgment on those we disagree with, trying to be humble and putting others higher than ourselves. I am very passionate about politics and getting things done. It excites me and I am so grateful to live in a country where my voice can be heard. I know I am guilty of thinking “they just don’t get it. If they would just think like me things would be better”. That is seriously the most dangerous line of thinking because it elevates my ego to altitudes of imperceptible proportions and creates an environment in which nothing gets done. It is harmful to me as it puts my ideas in a cage and there is no room for compromise. It also harms those who disagree with me because I am alienating them and their views as well. I don’t want to do that.

I love that I am surrounded by people who think differently than me. Many of my family and friends will vote for McCain, as will I. Many more will vote for Obama and several are still deciding. My point is, I am not going to try and convince you to vote “my way”. The whole point of this process is to get people thinking and praying and deciding for themselves. For me to think my way is the only way is nothing short of arrogance. I will gladly discuss any of my political views with anyone who asks. My one request is that my choices are regarded with respect and if we disagree, we can still walk together. To be surrounded by only one view is toxic and I am thankful for the variety of opinions I hear on a daily basis.

Here is my plan, and for my one political soap box post, I would like to ask you to join me. For those of us that are followers of Jesus, one thing we can all agree on is to pray. Pray for this country. Pray for the election. Pray for the leaders. Pray for the American people. No matter which side you are on, there will only be one who is elected. Pray for that person. Pray that the side who loses will be gracious about it. Pray for political healing and willingness to forge ahead and work together.

It is out of our hands once we have voted. I encourage you to listen to Tyler’s message posted above. I think it is probably the most important word I have heard yet on the election and I could not agree with him more. We SHOULD care, but we are human and we will disagree on how to get things done. Instead of letting that divide us, let’s trust God that He is in control and come what may, we can still go forward and do what we are called to do.

My name is Andrea Updyke, and I approved this message 😉

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