I can trace it back to one night during my senior year of high school. Unable to sleep, I grieved the loss of aborted unborn life. I thought, “How could innocent babies be killed and discarded everyday?” My heart ached for the women involved. “What money problems or social pressures could make a woman feel so trapped she would choose to end her son or daughter’s life?”
I knew I had to do something.
In college, I began volunteering with political committees to elect pro-life candidates. I would leave campaign literature on doorsteps, walking through neighborhoods until my feet hurt. Working phone banks, I’d make calls until my voice was hoarse. Politics became an obsession. It stole precious time I could have spent on homework. My college Alma mater, Virginia Tech, was a large school with plenty of Bible studies to attend and ministries to get involved with, but I never attended any more than once.
Politics also lured me into resentment. I seethed the candidates who didn’t share my ideals on any number of issues, from abortion and marriage to social security and taxes. When my candidates lost, it was as if Mount Vesuvius had erupted and destroyed my life.
On April 16, 2007, I received a wake-up call. During my last semester at Virginia Tech, the tragic shooting occurred. Ambulances roared by on the street outside my apartment, some coming from two counties over. The cell phone lines were jammed so I had to contact my family through email to let them know I was safe.
Later that afternoon, I realized a friend, Jeremy Herbstritt, hadn’t checked in with his family or anyone else. I drove to his apartment, knocked on the door, but no answer. Then I drove to the Virginia Tech police department. The officer scanned his clipboard. As he looked back up, he spoke with a soft tone, “Jeremy Herbstritt was one of the victims today, and he was killed.” The grief hit hard, like a punch in the gut. The only hope I could cling to was I believed he was a Believer in Jesus Christ.
Grief struck again a few years later when my grandfather died. He and my grandmother took me to church when I was young. I knew his faith was in Jesus Christ. Once more, I was consoled knowing my grandfather lived real hope, the hope of eternal life.
At the end of Jeremy’s life and my grandfather’s, what mattered was in Whom they had placed their hope and trust. God alone offers us eternal life. It suddenly dawned on me how insignificant and small elections were in comparison to a life lived in and through Jesus Christ. Although I can’t pinpoint the exact moment I turned my life over to Christ, I know it happened while studying a dusty Bible; the one I’d bought in college but never read.
So let’s ponder a few things: A president’s pen can sign or veto bills, but Jesus is the Author of our salvation. Each president gets four to eight years in the White House, but God is the Alpha and Omega. He loves mankind and has been redeeming souls long before our country was founded. Convincing someone to vote for your candidate could mean good policies for a few years (maybe), but sharing Jesus with someone could save their soul. Only God can do that.
A president’s pen can sign or veto bills, but Jesus is the Author of our salvation. Each president gets four to eight years…but God is the Alpha and Omega.
It’s easy to lose sight of what’s truly important. Every four years, the presidential race swarms the news cycles, crowds the Internet and stirs conversation. Each battle for the White House is portrayed as the most important event in human history. Candidates discuss bold, controversial plans as if they could single-handedly change everything, without cooperating with legislators, courts, and states.
Being civic-minded is a very good thing. The apostle Paul told us to pray for people in authority (1 Timothy 2:1-2), and he used his Roman citizenship to his advantage as he proclaimed the gospel (Acts 22:25). Today, I still vote in every election, but I don’t idolize, hate, or obsess. I’ve also found other ways to make a difference. Recently, I had the joy of participating in my town’s Walk for Life – an event benefiting a Christian pregnancy center that saves lives – exactly what I sought from the start.
Politicians will disappoint us. They’re human like you and me. Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world,” (John 16:33). If the November election doesn’t go your way, or if you’ll be unhappy no matter what, take heart. Consider it an opportunity to pray for the president-elect. Most importantly, keep your eyes fixed on the Ancient of Days. Pin your hope on Him alone. He is the firm foundation, one that will never disappoint.
I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone — for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.
– 1 Timothy 2:1-2 NIV
Lauren Craft is an unpublished Christian fiction author and journalist/editor in downtown DC. She loves serving on the mission’s team at her church in northern VA. Find devos, writing tips, and Christian book finds on her blog: InspiredBookshelf.com