Thankfulness: Choice

Today is Election Day in the United States. Today millions of people will descend on voting booths all across the nation to select leaders at all levels. This is a beautiful day of democracy in action. I know many people are feeling let down and upset about this year’s election, disappointed that they have to choose the lesser of two evils in the Presidential election. While I agree with all of those sentiments, I find myself feeling thankful today for the ability to choose.

For many years I wasn’t fond of this country. I focused on things that I didn’t like, I saw only pain and problems and injustices and bureaucratic loopholes. I saw the people that this nation has hurt in wars both within and outside it’s borders, I zoned in on the plights of minority, impoverished, and silenced populations, sure that these were the most accurate depiction of America. While these are all very real people groups who need care and assistance, there are still many things about this nation that are great.

The United States was founded on the freedom to choose, which I think is a beautiful reflection of God. In the Bible you don’t see God demanding that he be followed. He doesn’t force people to follow him or love him or pray to him, he leaves it up to us to make a choice. When God created the world he could’ve made it so that there was no other choice but to love him. He could’ve decreed that the one option was obey him, period. But he didn’t. He gave us the ability to choose to follow him or to follow ourselves.

Democracies, like the United States, empower their people with the same ability to choose who we want to follow. In a country of millions the choices available to us are narrowed so it can be manageable and orderly, but that doesn’t diminish the fact that we have a right and ability to choose. Let’s not let those choices go to waste. If you’re like me and you’re not pleased with our current electoral options, you can make a choice to do something about it. Starting tomorrow make the choice to get involved in your local government or volunteer in a civic organization or do something to make your community a better place. We have a choice in selecting our leaders, but we also have the freedom to choose to make a change.

We each have the ability to make a choice and today I am more thankful for this responsibility than I can appropriately express to you. Whether the choices you’re able to make are big or small, it’s an incredible privilege. Let’s be a people who make the most of each choice we’re able to make, choosing wisely for both ourselves and others.

Lord, I am in awe that you chose us! Forgive us for the times that we’ve chosen everything but you; we choose you again today. Thank you for changing our hearts so that we want to follow you. Help us to make choices in a way that makes you look famous and points others to you. We love you. Amen!

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