I was embarrassed and quite thankful that nobody else in the room was aware of my failure (or were they?). There I stood staring at the primary election ballot suddenly realizing that I didn’t have a clue about some of the candidates running for certain offices. To be honest, it’s happened before, but for some reason this time I was struck by my unjustifiable ignorance.
Like many Americans I deeply appreciate our constitutional form of government, seeing immense wisdom on the part of our founding fathers. But like many Americans I’ve also become increasingly frustrated with a political process that too often forces us to choose between what we believe to be the lesser of two evils. And I emphasize two because both major political parties have essentially rigged the process in order to minimize opportunities for third party candidates to obtain any real measure of success.
At times I’ve done my homework and helped to vote a particular candidate into office, but in most cases I’ve found myself seriously disappointed with at least part of the outcome.
Eventually I came to realize that the lesser of two evils perspective was often the rule rather than an exception. Add the nauseating and often inaccurate political ads (on top of a zillion pre-recorded phone messages) and my motivation to spend the time and effort to do the research quickly fades. Can anybody say “apathy”?
At the heart of the problem is a core of unbelief in thinking that what I do doesn’t really matter. What’s going to happen is going to happen regardless of whether I vote intelligently—or even vote at all. Somehow I don’t think that I’m alone in all of this.
Can we draw a parallel here with Christian ministry? We face no shortage of needy people and situations in our world. Why don’t most of us spend more time praying for these needs? In part we don’t think it will matter. Why don’t we give more of our money? We doubt that it will really make a difference. Why don’t we invest more time in our service to God? We tried that once and things didn’t work out so well.
The mindsets may be similar, but overall the parallel isn’t a very good one. World governments are run by imperfect, sinful humans. The kingdom of heaven is ruled by our loving and perfect God.
The natural end of this doubt-filled perspective is that we get the results we expect we will—none! Only faith moves the hand of God! Only faith will appreciate the value of our efforts! Only faith can see beyond the mud-filled trenches of life’s daily grind. Only faith can help us to find fulfillment to the holy passion that God wants to fill our hearts.
Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 15:58
Believe it and you will eventually see the fruit of your faith!