I don’t remember the first time I voted in a state and national election. Wish I did. I wish I could remember how it felt at having reached the age where I could make my voice be heard.
When our one and only son was on the precipice of turning 18 years old, he asked what was going to happen then. The unspoken message I heard was, “I’m getting ready to become an adult and I’m expecting to start making all my own decisions. Right?”
No, not right. He was still dependent on us, and we were still paying the bills. He would still have a curfew and be expected to abide by our rules. This is what I told him happens when you reach 18. “You can be tried as an adult for a crime. You can join the military. And you can vote.” Not exactly what the son was hoping to hear.
Yet, years later I contemplate the privilege of being allowed to choose. It is not the norm in many countries. In too many places, the choices are made for the people and they must then live with them, like it or not.
Sweet William and I got out early this morning and made our way to the voting booth, he in his wheelchair and me pushing him up the ramp. Dispite the cold dark pre-dawn, it felt good and right to be there. We were proud when we completed our task.
The gift of being allowed to choose was put into effect by our founding fathers. Did they see that same gift in the Holy Scriptures and pattern the plans for a brand new country after God’s example? I wonder.
In a world gone terribly wrong, where disease is rampant and crime continues to rise and families are falling apart and we are wasting our resources and knowledge is increasing yet our children are being fed too many lies, we wonder why God allowed sin to come into the world at all. Couldn’t he have just eliminated the opportunity to do wrong? Couldn’t He have removed that one tree in the garden that was prohibited to Adam and Eve? Why let that temptation even be there?
What God gave us all was the gift to choose. He gave freedom. As with any gift, it can be taken and cherished and used in the right way, or it can be abused or thrown aside as something with little value. We see it all the time.
In God’s greater wisdom, He made a choice Himself, to give humans a right to choose Him or reject Him.
I am grateful to be an American. With all of our problems, we are still the greatest nation on earth. I pray for her, that the foundation upon which she was built will not crumble away. I pray that her people will make wise and prudent choices when we stand at the election booth. I hope we choose life over death for our nation.
May God help us. May our flag of freedom yet wave. And may we make choices that will honor the very God who gave us this right.
“I call heaven and earth to witness this day against you that I have set before you life and death, the blessings and the curses; therefore choose life, that you and your descendants may live and may love the Lord your God, obey His voice, and cling to Him. For He is your life and the length of your days, that you may dwell in the land which the Lord swore to give to your fathers . . . ”