The day we Fall Back every November is awesome. I love that it’s in the Fall. I love that extra hour. I love how rested I’ll feel this next week as my body slowly adjusts to the change. I missed out last year because I had mono, which basically made me feel like I had a NyQuil IV going constantly and caused me to miss the joy of the time change.
Normally, here’s how I celebrate: I stay up a whole hour later and then sleep until 6:00 a.m., which feels like 7:00 a.m. because of the extra hour. Then I get up and life goes on as usual on a Sunday morning.
I made a decision early in the week that I wouldn’t sleep through the extra hour I had this year.
Seriously, if you slept that extra hour last night, awesome! Sometimes the healthiest, best thing we can do with extra time is sleep. And I’m seriously not trying to Jesus Juke you here.
I spent the extra hour praying and journaling and thinking and listening for a still small voice. I just felt like that’s the very thing I could do with that hour.
There were two things on my mind:
1. The devastation caused by Sandy earlier this week, not just in the USA but also in the Caribbean.
2. The United States federal, state and local elections on Tuesday, November 6.
And of course, there were a bunch of other people and things I threw in–an hour’s a long time, you know?
Number 1 is a pretty important situation to pray about. I’m grateful for the stories of people helping each other and the generosity people near and far are showing. I hope that continues.
Number 2 is difficult to forget about. Even as I type this, there’s a campaign commercial in the background on the television. Oh, wait, another campaign commercial started while I typed that sentence. My facebook and twitter feeds are full of campaign news, most of which I’m not sure I can trust to be unbiased or true, and political commentary or quips shared by friends.
My prayers were, of course, for the elections and that the results would be wise and God-honoring.
More importantly, though, I prayed for the great political divide in our nation. I don’t have to tell you that it’s ugly out there. People are hailing this election as the most important in our lifetimes. There is a ferocity on either side about the issues. People speak in hateful ways about the candidates on the other side or about the people voting for the candidates on the other side. It’s fair to say there’s a good amount of spin happening in the media on either side and that in many cases, common sense has been long-forgotten.
I worry about Wednesday morning. When we know the results, what happens then?
That’s what caused me to spend extra time praying this morning.
So…VOTE. It’s your right and privilege and it’s important.
And…Remember that Jesus told us that the greatest commandments are to love God and love our neighbors as we love ourselves (Mark 12:28-34). Who is your neighbor? Each person you encounter…maybe especially people who are voting differently than you are voting. Be kind. Be respectful. Be loving.