I have been asked to contribute a weekly column to our local newspaper, The Nebraska City NewsPress, my goal is that people are reminded that they are loved, they are not alone, and that we can do positive things together as a community. Here is this week’s column, it’s called “Get Out the Vote”.
This Tuesday, November 4, is Election Day. People will turn out for all types of races, midterm elections for Congress, Governor, State Representative, County Council, City Commissioner, Sheriff, Board of Regents. In Nebraska City, we even have a vote on a proposed pool. I’m sure you know about these already as long as you haven’t been living under a rock for the last few months.
Our town has been littered with signs of all sizes, every candidate imaginable tried to slap their support sticker on my children as they walked in the parades this summer, and you can’t even turn on your television or radio without hearing some kind of advertisement or promotion from one candidate or another. All the papers have endorsed their pick; there have been forums to discuss issues, photo ops, handshakes, and lots and lots of baby kissing.
Now, you’re probably wondering what a pastor from a small town in Nebraska is going to say about voting, you might even say he’s going from preaching to meddling, but here goes anyways.
I encourage you to do some praying, thinking, reading, contemplating, and learning about the issues and the candidates for the upcoming election. I encourage you to make an informed choice relying on your own intellect, understanding, and faith and go out to your local polling station and cast your vote.
That’s right, I said let your faith guide you in your voting process; don’t leave your faith outside the voting booth.
I read somewhere one time, “If your faith doesn’t impact your politics, you probably don’t take either of them as seriously as you should.” Because I take my faith seriously, I try to follow God’s leading as I step into that voting booth and cast my ballot.
The funny thing is we aren’t all going to be led to vote for the same people or in the same way. In the Presbyterian Church (USA)’s constitution it says, “That “God alone is Lord of the conscience,” That means that you must listen to God and let God guide your conscience to where you feel led. Make your pick, cast your vote, and pray that our leaders will follow their conscience and their faith to lead our city, county, state, and country in a way that will honor God.
The question then becomes, what kind of decisions honor God?
That’s where your faith and God can guide your conscience. We are not a uniform group, but we can be unified and that starts here in Nebraska City and in Otoe County. Certainly, the governor’s race and the Congressional races are important but as for our day-to-day lives, those votes for County Council, City Commissioner, and the swimming pool are vital.
I know how I’m going to vote. I’m going to listen to God, my understanding of the issues, and my faith in those who are running and make a choice. I trust you will too.
The only hope we have to make a difference in our town and our country’s governance is to vote. As we seek to be in charge of our own future and in charge of the future’s of our children we must make our voice heard at the voters box.
At dinner every night, my family goes around the table and shares their high points and low points of the day. We call it “Favorite” and “Not Favorite”. Here are my “Favorites” and “Not Favorites” of the week.
Favorite: The excitement my children have for Halloween and painting pumpkins with them.
Not Favorite: People who are willing to complain but not willing to contribute.