Yesterday, citizens across the Commonwealth of Virginia – my wife and elder son included – voted in Presidential primaries as part of “Super Tuesday.” Although there are many issues I care deeply about – ADA, abortion, war, refugees, welfare, and many others – I purposefully chose in my heart not to vote (I’ll write about why I didn’t vote in a later post, and, even if you disagree with my reasoning, I would ask that you disagree respectfully in the spirit of Christian liberty).
The freedom to vote. My wife and son made one decision. I made another. That’s what I love about this nation – we’re free to decide for ourselves what we’ll do. Elsewhere in the world that opportunity does not exist. In some nations I would have been forced to vote. One hundred years ago, neither my wife (a woman) nor my son (he’s under 21) would have been permitted to vote. Yet, in our democratic republic, the three of us were able to come to our own conclusions.
The freedom to decide for ourselves what we’ll do is far older than the United States of America. That freedom is as old as the world. God placed the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the Garden and gave Adam and Eve a choice – to eat or not to eat; we all know what they chose. In his farewell address, Joshua told the Israelites, “If it is evil in your eyes to serve the LORD, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell” (Josh 24:15). God never forces His will on us – we each have a choice in how we’ll live.
I may have chosen not to vote “for the lesser of two evils” yesterday (isn’t that an admission I’m voting for evil?), but, as someone who suffers from a disability, there are some votes I cast every single day.
Every day, I chose:
- To be thankful for all God has given me.
- To trust God when I cannot see the way ahead.
- To worry less and to pray more.
- To exercise my body.
- To smile in spite of the pain.
- To remember that my life could be much worse.
- To watch what I eat and keep my weight down (that greatly helps the mobility).
- To let my light shine before others that they may glorify my Father who is in heaven.
- To treat people with the dignity their creation in the image of God merits.
- To take my needed medication in spite of the side effects.
Every new day is a blank slate, and I – and I alone – determine how I’ll live. I vote to live in the light of God’s grace. Won’t you join me in voting that way this year?