Tomorrow Americans will elect the next President of the United States. Individuals all across this nation will have the opportunity and freedom to cast their ballot for the candidates of their choice and voice their opinions on many other state and local issues. In this current election cycle, as well as in recent elections, there has been an increase in the number of individuals who just don’t plan to vote. The reasoning this time around, as in the past, is that the choices just don’t include anyone that they agree with or support. But if we understand how costly the price of our freedom and the right to vote was for those who came before us, taking these rights for granted by choosing not to vote seems particularly misguided. The consequences of not participating in the right to vote are far too great for any American to ignore. The early 20th Century magazine editor, George Jean Nathan, commenting on those who chose not vote said, “Bad officials are elected by good citizens who choose not to vote.” Those who are still lamenting over the choices this election cycle should focus on gratitude for the freedoms we do have, which include the right to vote, not on their disdain for the choices.
Over the past year the media has literally been dominated by talking heads opining about the elections and endless commercials for every candidate hijacking the airways. It’s always interesting to me that as soon as the elections are over, the political ads disappear and the whole country turns its focus to Thanksgiving and the approaching holidays. Here at FCS we are already gearing up for our annual Thanksgiving extravaganza and in just a few short weeks we will enjoy the time to celebrate God’s blessing on our lives, our families, and our country. The political ads and talking pundits are replaced by “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday” ads which will only be outdone by year end clearance sale’s and “all Christmas items 80% off.” What a country!
So here we are in the year 2016, 395 years after that first Thanksgiving celebration. The Pilgrims had no elections for President or referendums to cast their ballots for or against. They had only their gratitude to God for helping them through a time of peril and challenge. Today our nation faces peril and challenges like never before. Even though the average American lives better than the rest of the world, in reality it is a precarious wealth in a nation whose currency is on the brink of devaluation and whose future is clouded by ever increasing national debt. For many the American dream is just not an achievable goal. The moral conscious of America continues to take a hit as one by one, the Christian principles on which this country was founded are systematically replaced by “progressive” ideals. Around the world America has many enemies whose purpose is to destroy the only nation that has the potential to thwart their goal of world dominance and the spreading of their beliefs. All of these events weigh heavily on our minds and cause us to contemplate what might be next and what awaits the next person who will occupy the Oval Office.
President Abraham Lincoln, speaking in the middle of the American Civil War, during some of the darkest days faced by America up until that point, said this, “With humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, pray for the interposition of the Almighty Hand of God to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with Divine purposes.” In the midst of national crisis, President Lincoln called the nation to repent for national sin and disobedience against God for restoration. More recently President George Bush said, “Our country was founded by men and women who realized their dependence on God. and were humbled by his providence and grace. We recall the great privilege it is to live in a land where freedom is the right of every person and where all can pursue their dreams.” Thanksgiving has traditionally been a time when American presidents acknowledge that God is the source of all the blessings America has enjoyed.
My prayer is that whoever is elected tomorrow to lead this nation as president, will not forget that the source of America’s greatness does not depend on political or military power, or their own agenda. America’s greatness and future is totally dependent on the blessing of God on our nation, and unless we choose to bow our knee as a nation to the God who has blessed us so abundantly in the past, America will not be blessed and will not be great again.