Make no mistake about it–elections are a big deal. They channel and direct the future of our republic and set the stage for those who will come after us. This year’s election was especially significant to me as I lugged a carseat containing our 3-month old to the polls. There she sat, contently babbling as I dimpled my chads, completely clueless that the men and women I was voting for (and against) would influence her from childhood through adult life. I had never taken one of my children to vote before, and after doing so, I’d highly recommend it. Toting this clumsy load of most precious cargo reminded me that voting is far more than an act of personal preference–it’s an act of stewardship, in which we construct a foundation for future Americans just as previous generations have done for us.
At the same time, the blessed presence of my little one in that cramped voting booth reminded me of another important life lesson–there is far more to life than politics. Whether we elect the brilliant or the baffoon, we can and must properly recognize politics in service to life and not the other way around. We must see our loved ones and our fellow citizens as people first, and ourselves as primary participants in the present chapter of life which does not depend upon partisan victory and won’t be up for grabs in the 2014 midterms.
A wise teacher once clarified that the sabbath day was meant for man, not man for the sabbath. The same can be said of the political process in any healthy society. You might be thrilled with the results of the 2012 elections, or you may be nauseated by them. But to savor life as it was intended, you must embrace the glorious fact that there is life after elections.
Just don’t forget to live it.