It was roughly three years ago. I was in my kitchen preparing lunch. As I typically did, I turned on the radio to catch up on some news and the political talk of the day. I listened for no more than five minutes then promptly turned the radio off in frustration. I dried my hands and picked up the ringing phone. It was my husband. He usually called at lunch time to check in with the boys and me.
“I can’t do it anymore,” I snapped. “I can’t listen to the radio. I can’t watch the news. I can’t read the paper. I am powerless to change any of this. I just can’t do it anymore.”
Those were the first words that spewed from my mouth after my husband said hello. I continued to explain that all of the political banter and divisiveness was affecting me. Thinking about all that was wrong with our country was stirring up such angst within me that it was interfering with my primary roles in life. I was a Christian, a wife, and mother. The worry, concern, and disgust I had for the state of government and politics in general was taking a toll.
So from that day on, I tuned out. No more radio, no more political talk, no more evening news, or internet searches. No more blood pressure rising. No more frustration over what I was powerless to change. No more. Simply no more.
I was going to put all of my efforts into the things that I could change, the things that I had control over. My walk with the Lord. Rooting out the unlovely parts of me. Supporting and loving my husband more. Being there completely for my kids and not letting my frustrations become theirs. Although I had already been in the Word, been loving and enjoying my relationship with my husband, and spending good quality time with my boys, there was this distraction, this gloomy gray cloud that hung over me. I’m sure it robbed me of joy. I know it robbed me of peace, and most importantly, it shifted my eyes off of the Lord. That needed to change.
I really lifted this up to the Lord, and not surprisingly, He provided me with the direction that I needed.
I realized that the Lord had planted me in this time, in this country, in my state, as part of my town. He placed me on my street, in my house, with my family. All within His plan for me. He called me to make this place, my home, my place of influence for Him. Paul effectively stated the same belief:
…and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation… Acts 17:26
While this little ol’ housewife from New Jersey wasn’t going to influence the face of Washington, the Lord did grant to me great influence in the lives of the people who are around me. In fact, He has given you that same calling, that same influence, to be a light to those around you. Maybe that means your spouse, your children, your neighbors, your co-workers, or your friends. The last thing this world needs is one more person jumping into the political debate. The first thing this world needs is one more person spreading the Lord’s message of love and salvation. Only then will the world truly change, only then can the face of Washington and our politicians truly change.
Now please realize that I am not advocating completely turning a blind eye to what is going on around you. I am not saying that you should throw your hands up in the air and sit back and watch the government have its way. No, not at all. You do have a voice; I have a voice, and it should be used. I am simply saying that if you find yourself in the position I was, where your mind is preoccupied, distracted, and troubled, you need to change gears. You need to re-evaluate your priorities and remind yourself that there is One who is in complete control, even while the world seems to be spinning out of control.
So as I prepare to cast my vote this Election Day, I am reminded that regardless of the outcome, my life will not change. I will still be a wife: I will still be a mother, and I will still have the same calling as a child of the Lord. No change of leadership, no changing of the law will take that away.