Election Eve Reflections

Tomorrow is Election Day, and I for one can't wait.  I can't wait to vote (I decided to wait for Election Day to cast mine).  I can't wait to stop receiving a hundred political text messages and emails a day (How they got my contact info is kind of scary). 

And I can't wait to stop having my perfectly pleasant football watching interrupted by political attack ads.  Also, I can't wait for the many people on my social media feeds to become obsessed with something else.  

There's not a lot that is life-giving and positive about elections, is there?  It's like a constant barrage of negativity that never seems to end.  It's enough to turn otherwise fairly nice people into demagogues or worse.  

Think about it.  We are constantly giving off energy, sharing it with one another... sending... receiving... all the time.  It affects us whether we are aware of it or not, and when it's happening on a large scale, it can have a dramatic effect.  

I don't know about you, but I feel tired.  I get to the end of the day each day and feel absolutely worn out.  And so many of my friends are telling me the same thing, too.  I can't help but feel that the negative energy being sent out into the world by so very many of us is partially to blame.  

I recently came across this wonderful quote by Bob Goff, and I wrote it down to think about it.  Today it seemed to speak to me as I pondered the way negativity and criticism seem to have taken up all the energy around us right now.  

Love has the kind of power that criticism only wishes it had.  Where criticism attacks, love mends.  Love sees who people are becoming even if they’re not there yet. 

This election is like no other that I have seen in my lifetime.  I keep saying that with each ensuing election.  They just seem to get worse and worse---each one more acrimonious than the last.  

Our country just keeps becoming more and more divided all the time.  The spirit of negativity and criticism rules the day almost every day.  And Christians are often at the center of it all, it seems---perpetuating that negativity, even causing it more often than not. 

Imagine if those of us who say that we follow Jesus decided once and for all to end the cycle of negativity, to stop passing on the negative energy of criticism.  What if we turned to love instead?  What if we decided to actually live by the example Jesus set, instead of just giving lip service to it?

Imagine what the world could look like if we turned away from negativity toward the positive, generative way of love?  And I'm talking the kind of love that forgives, that offers grace, that sees beyond stereotypes, that lifts up the true humanity and goodness within us.  

The kind of love that has been extended to each of us through Christ, who didn't come to take sides, but who definitely came to take over in a revolution of love.  

Christ's love led him to take on the worst the world had to offer and to respond by saying, "Father forgive them..."  Christ's love led him to let go of the dread of losing, the fear of death toward the joy of rising, the triumph of the resurrection.  

This is our calling... this is our true north... 

The Election will be over tomorrow (we hope), and we will have to find a way forward into the future.  Let's begin now by stopping the flow of the negative energy of attack and criticism, and become sources of something new, something positive, something life-giving and true. 

And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.  


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