Election season freaks me out. Following news on Twitter. Skimming through posts in my Facebook feed. Listening to political conversations. All of it is making me bananas. B-A-N-A-N-A-S.
And as I sat prepping sermon notes this morning, my emotions got in the way. I am afraid. When I get scared, I lose hope. I want to control people instead of trust them. I focus on guilt over invitation.
But, here’s the deal. None of those inclinations are helpful. They don’t produce the change I’d like in the world. Hope. Trust. Invitation. These are the things which move us together towards a goal.
To break free from lizard brain fear mode, I needed to find a different perspective.
And I found myself asking this question: what if election season, even with its flaws and over-the-top emotions, is actually good for us? What if it sweeps our rotting values up to shore and forces us to reckon with them?
Election season forces us to make tangible decisions with the values we profess. We make intentional choices which reveal the connection (or lack thereof) between the values we claim and our actions.
As we cast votes and interact with others this election season, we’re confronted with this decay. And with awareness, we can choose to change or live with the stench. We can choose to get involved. Or we can choose to disengage.
Either way, we get to make choices. Maybe they feel artificial. Maybe it feels like holding your nose while grabbing for the least stinky option.
But, still, we make choices. And those choices declare volumes about our faith, our God and our love for people. Are we concerned about protecting our own interests, or are we focused on the common good?
As painful as election season is, we need to see the connection between our faith and our resulting action. How else can we grow and mature? Faith isn’t solely believing a concept; real faith involves action.
While messy and painful, this is good for us. Even if it is making us bananas. Maybe even because it’s making us bananas.
As scary as it is, I’d still rather trust people than control them. I’d rather be curious than afraid. I’d rather invite people to the wonder of God’s kingdom than make them feel small or ashamed. I’d prefer to trust that God is bigger than an earthly kingdom, and that even if this country splinters all to pieces, God is not defeated. God is bigger than the boogeymen as VeggieTales reminds us.
To wrangle my fear this week, I’m listening to No Longer Slaves by Bethel Music on repeat.
“I am no longer a slave to fear. I am a child of God.”
Say it with me: I am no longer a slave to fear. I am a child of God.
Let’s lean into trust together, friends. Let’s let love bring us together, instead of allowing fear to wedge us further apart.