“One of these years I’ll get to vote in an election that won’t be the most important of my lifetime.” – Anonymous
Adapted from an essay written in 2016
As we approach voting for a president this fall, consider the long and short of things. Look at what Paul tells people about marriage in I Cor. 7:29-31:
But this I say, brethren, the time has been shortened, so that from now on those who have wives should be as though they had none;30 and those who weep, as though they did not weep; and those who rejoice, as though they did not rejoice; and those who buy, as though they did not possess; 31 and those who use the world, as though they did not make full use of it; for the form of this world is passing away.
Paul’s point is that Christians are to look at marriage in light of eternity. That does not mean glibly, or indifferently, or as though it is disposable. It has high value (see Heb. 13:4). But the fact remains marriage is short, eternity is long (and according to Jesus we will not be married in heaven). The form of this world is passing away.
Paul says believers are to weep differently, rejoice differently, buy differently, use the world differently. Why? Because our time has been shortened. How so? What Paul means is that in coming to faith in Christ, we know our permanent, ‘real’ existence is future.
We are not having our best life now, it comes later. So, considering that truth, this life has been shortened in our understanding. This world is passing away.
According to His promise we are looking for new heavens and new earth in which righteousness dwells (I John 2:17; II Peter 3:11-13).
This truth applies to our voting. Our time has been shortened. Believers understand our citizenship is in heaven from which we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ (Phil. 3:20-21). We are aliens and strangers (I Peter 2:11). So, we vote as though not voting. We evaluate elections and voting considering our shortened time, in light of eternity.
Back in high school we had student body president, pep club president, letter club president, and of course vice presidents, secretaries, treasurers. We had ample offices and endless voting opportunities for a high school of 50! In the first few years of high school, those positions and elections seemed so important, so necessary and critical to the future of the LaGrange Longhorns. Those leadership roles certainly provided a degree of instruction and experience in working with groups and democratic decision making. But by the time the second semester of my senior year rolled around, the urgency and gravity of who would be president of the Letter Club was in the past. I was headed out the door, my time had been shortened.
For the record: No more Longhorns, LaGrange High closed down about 25 years ago.
The older we get – and hopefully wiser – the more we realize we live in the second semester of our senior year. It is not disdain or cynicism with which we look at elections and offices of government.
They have their God-given role. But not only are they for a temporary season in our lives, those in office are not ultimately in control.
Let the name of God be blessed forever and ever, for wisdom and power belong to Him. It is He who changes the times and the epochs; He removes kings and establishes kings… For His dominion is an ever-lasting dominion…He does according to His will in the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of earth; and no one can ward off His hand or say to Him, ‘What have You done?’ – Daniel 2:20-21; 4:34-35
Let us consider elections in light of the long and short of things. Let us pray for wisdom in the few seasons we have the opportunity. In light of where our citizenship finally is. In light of the One who is moving all things according to His sovereign will. In light of new heavens and new earth where righteousness dwells.
Headed for Home,