No matter who’s in office, freedom of choice can’t be taken

Categorized as Grounds for Insanity column, Rhonda's Posts

God is in control. In changing times, in shifting political fortunes, it is this rock on which I plant my feet.

There is much that concerns me in the aftermath of the election. While some folks choose to separate their politics from their faith, I’ve not chosen that approach.

As a created being who was “knitted together in my mother’s womb (Ps. 139:13),” I believe that tiny souls who are even now being formed by the fingers of the Almighty should be allowed to live. I believe in life, and I vote that way.

I believe in the sanctity of marriage. I believe that it was God’s idea. From the first union in the Garden of Eden, the family has been the building block of society. I vote that way.

On the economic side, I don’t believe that a nation can tax and spend its way to prosperity. It doesn’t work like that in our household; not at all. If we don’t live within our means, we suffer the consequences, and they are severe. Whether for a government or for an individual, the principle is the same—you cannot continue to spend more than you make without paying the price. As much as I can, I vote this way.

Then there’s the erosion of our personal and religious freedoms. Recently, we’ve seen the alarming encroachment of government into the lives of citizens. Now, a church can be forced to violate its conscience, and Americans can be fined for not making a purchase (healthcare). This is unprecedented in our nation’s history.

Many find this frightening. “What’s next?” they say. “What will we be forced to do? Forbidden to do? Where does this end?”

Here’s the bottom line. God was not voted off the throne last Tuesday. No electorate is big enough or powerful enough to do that. In fact, Daniel 2:21 says, “He sets up kings and deposes them.” He still reigns supreme.

Secondly, no matter what governmental mandates are implemented, no matter what’s outlawed or enforced, there is one freedom that can never be taken away. That is the freedom of choice.

I can choose to love my neighbor. In spite of disagreements; regardless of the way you voted, I can love you still.

No matter where you go to church (or don’t), I can choose to love. Red, brown, yellow, black or white, you are precious in His sight. That’s why I choose to love.

I can choose to trust. No king, commander or president can take that choice away. Because I know God; know He’s faithful. Because I know His word is true. Because I believe in His power, I choose to trust.

I can choose to keep doing good, and I can do it with all of my heart. Because I love, because I trust, I will keep doing good.

Something beautiful happens when ordinary citizens make these choices. Two days after the election, I stood in a large and bustling gymnasium and watched a community come together.

Two years ago, our church took on the challenge of packing 300,000 meals for hungry children around the world. And got it done. Then last year, leadership said, “We can do more. Let’s go for a million.” And once again, got it done.

This year, they said, “We can still do more. Let’s shoot for two million. But we’ll need some help.”

Help came. It came in the shape of families; moms and dads, sisters and brothers pouring rice, adding vegetables, dropping in soy and sealing up bags.

It came from factories that sent crews over. From a church in Ligonier, “Count us in.” From an optometrist’s office and the tennis team. From a construction crew and the high school cheerleaders, all came to do good in that gym.

The diversity displayed was astounding. Mennonites from Middlebury worked beside Amish from Nappanee. Burly, tattooed line workers enjoyed a hearty competition with sedate church ladies. And the children were fed.

Standing in the midst of the chaos on that hard gymnasium floor, I heard it. In the clinking of spoons as we measured. In the pounding of feet, bringing rice. In the cheers as each box was marked “finished.” In the noise and the uproar, it came.

It was a symphony. Woven together with notes major and minor, it played, triumphant. Played, swelling, exuberant, across denominations. Across party lines. From every demographic and station, it was a song, a sonata of love. And the children were fed.

This is what I can choose. You can, too. No matter what the future holds. No matter what comes our way, we can choose to trust.

We can choose to love. If we want the world to know we’re His disciples, this is how we do it. We choose to love.

We can choose to do good. In our homes, neighborhoods, churches and towns, we can be His hands and feet. Can show Him in skin. We can, and the world will be fed.

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