Looking out my window I can’t help but notice the political signs scattered around many yards and on buildings. The election season is upon us with political candidate door knocking now in full swing. I must admit after spending a number of years in the United States I do appreciate the fact that here in Canada the length of the political season is shortened. In the States it seems politicians are always in campaign mode. But here in Canada, the window is shorter for a campaign season. Campaign mode also seems to be different in Canada. In the States there’s what I refer to as the screamers on the right and screamers on the left. Of course both sides also boast about a fair, balanced and unbiased reporting of the political scene. If you listen to talk radio, there is at times, very little unbiased reporting taking place.
Of course the same can be said about the Canadian media market place as well. A quick scan of the dial turns up polarizing reports from each party accusing the other party of some dirty work making them unworthy of anyone’s vote. There’s also the now famous “Nice hair though” line which grabs more headlines than anything of real substance it seems. Then, through all the noisy rhetoric, we the voter are supposed to figure out who will represent us in Ottawa.
A few weeks ago while involved in a phone conference prayer time someone started praying about the upcoming election putting forth an idea that God has a favorite party. This did surprise me, but I also realized this is how many people not only vote, but also pray. We tend to pick favorites and then determine our favorite is always the best choice. However, we also need to remember there is no official God party on the election ballot. As a matter of fact, God has been known to use totally opposite political parties to teach us something about how we should act.
I’m reminded of the exile of Israel to Babylon. In the midst of exile in Babylon and in the midst of ruins in Jerusalem two men proclaimed to the nation that they were to not only “pray for the city and leaders where they were exiled” but they should also “marry, plant and take up residence” in the land to where they were exiled. Jeremiah was surrounded by the ruins in Jerusalem while Ezekiel sat in the midst of the people in Babylon. But wait, there’s more! In the midst of the ruins Jeremiah goes one step further when he encourages the people to “pray for the peace and prosperity of the city of exile because if it goes well for them, you too will prosper”!
This leads to the question – Has anything changed since the days of old? What should our attitude be toward those in leadership and in political office? While situations change, the principle remains the same. Pray for those in leadership no matter what you might think about that leadership. Yes this is a hard pill to swallow, especially if your “favorite” party isn’t in a place of leadership. It’s easy to scream foul when you feel wronged simply because your person isn’t leading. But the principle remains the same – pray for those in leadership so it might go well with you. It’s also worth noting the principle outlined by Jeremiah and Ezekiel in the Old Testament holds true in the New Testament as well. Paul encouraged Timothy along the same lines when he said “pray for those in authority so that we may live peaceful and quiet lives”.
Election Day will soon be here. Yes, it’s important to vote. But it’s even more important to pray for those in leadership after the election so it might go well for us all.
Looking Out My Window is a regular column in the Northumberland Today newspaper located in Cobourg, Ontario, Canada.