Four years ago, I was 22 years old and had my life totally figured out.
I was in my second year of teaching and could cook a one course meal using a frying pan.
Curiosity killed the cat, as they say, and my roommate Kendra and I blew out the pilot light on our gas fireplace. It appeared to be a safety issue, but once we realized we were mistaken, we had to call our landlord. (Seriously, how were we supposed to know it stays on?).
I also forced Kendra to hide my snack food on me because I had no portion control (still don’t) but then after awhile she refused to do it because she says I got too aggressive when begging her to tell me where she stashed it.
Life was most certainly an adventure.
So I may be using the phrase “totally figured out” loosely, but I made it and am a fully (read: mildly) functioning adult today.
The last four years have challenged me, excited me, devastated me, taught me and changed me.
I’m not the same person, or even close to resembling the person I was 4 years ago.
So with the election looming, okay stalking, all around us, it has me thinking about the next four. What will I do with them?
In four years, I will be 30. Hopefully married, (please, Lord) maybe with a babe or six, and probably a much more mature version of myself.
Looking back at how the years have flown by, I know in the blink of an eye it will be here. 4 years will have come and gone.
4 years that potentially (this is purposely written before the election to leave out any names or political stances #strategy), hold someone in office that does not represent the values or the morals that I hold dear to me.
That leaves me with this question: even if the outcome of this election scares me and hurt my soul, what do I want the next four years to be about and what can I do to make it happen?
Do I want to make it obvious the next four years how I think the election should have gone and where it all went wrong?
Do I want to argue points endlessly about controversial issues?
Do I want to add to the broken relationships that have weathered too many storms over the election season?
For the next four years, I want the world to see how I feel about my Jesus, not my President.
For the next 48 months, I want to point others to the cross, not to the latest headline.
(Maybe I should also brush up on my multiplication facts during this time, because I had to google 12 x 4)
For the next 1,460 days, I want the light that lives in me to shine bright in a world covered in so much darkness.
I could keep going into hours and minutes, but I think you get the point and I don’t want to patronize you.
We are called as believers to fight for justice and stand up for the truth that is found in the Word of God.
But we are not God.
We cannot fix the brokenness by ourselves.
It’s not our job to fix the brokenness.
We can fight for change and speak out against injustice.
We can pray and we love and we cry out for the help we so desperately need.
That is our calling. To do His work.
This calling does not have to include the tearing down of other people.
I’ve got to think that God cares more about how we treat and love neediness of people, than he does about how we feel about the President.
When I stand before Him one day, will He say to me,
“What is your perception of the political situation in America from 2016-2020?”
or will he more focused on the ways I was His hands and feet to those who needed Him most?
We can stand strong in a way that honors God in word and action.
The next four years, and truthfully, the remaining time until Jesus returns, will not be easy for followers of Jesus.
When I am almost 30 years old, on the eve of the election of 2020, I hope those around me can say that I spent these precious years loving Jesus, serving people and striving to be more like Christ in a world that needs Him more than ever.
In four years, maybe I will own a house that has a garage door opener. #dreams
Maybe I’ll finally cut back on excessive amounts of processed foods and sugar.
So much can happen in 1,460 days. There is so much we cannot control that happens around us, but what we can control is how we respond and react to the chaos we see and we feel.
Love wildly for the next four years.