Your Vain Vote

A person posted on social media last week that they did their civic duty and cancelled out the vote of some misguided fellow citizen. There’s of course a lot of truth in that comment. But given the broader perspective, there are more than two people voting and elections have come down to a few votes before, or at least to debate over “hanging chads.” You never know which vote might come through at the midnight hour and sway the final verdict. Votes determine elections, and elections have consequences.

For Christians in America, and believers watching from around the world, it doesn’t seem that politics could get any more divisive. The divide between the two parties cuts across families and congregations. Even where believers agree on policy priorities, differing levels of enthusiasm for voting options still creates conflict. In short, it’s a challenging time.

Every follower of Jesus needs to think through the issues for themselves and vote their conscience. Yet, in the book of Ecclesiastes we are reminded of the vanity of all these things. Solomon tells us in viewing the cycles of life, he was led to despair. There is simply a season for everything:

 For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace. (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, ESV) 

So, what are we to do recognizing that everything beneath the sun is vanity, our voting included? Solomon doesn’t leave us hanging (like a chad in Broward county Florida). Solomon reminds us that God has given us a task to do, work he has put before us, and we will be held accountable (Ecclesiastes 12:13,14). In the grand scheme of things, our single vote feels like an exercise in vanity. But it is a right that has been fought for and defended. And it matters.

So, go cast your vote. Trust God with the results. Love your neighbor, even the one with a political sign you don’t appreciate. And recognize that God is sovereign over all things, every season, and every election. History marches to the cadence of his providence.