The Awkward Moment When Politicians Get Bitten by Dogs or When Party Leaders Get Arrested or When Their Cars Get Stuck on The Ramp in The Dáil…

Next Friday people across the country will flood to their national schools to pick up pencils, scribble on a scraps of paper and post them into boxes. There’s something simple and child-like about voting. One of the first things we learn in life is to call our preference – “I want that one,” “she’s my best friend”, “I don’t want to go!” So how do we make our choices next Friday?

What posters do we like? Have you seen Mannix Flynn’s? – very trendy! What party names sound complicated or too much like something else? (A musician in England wanted to set up the “Ukulele Independent Party” but was rejected because it sounds too similar to Ukip!) What candidates have kind eyes (This is something I am biased about)? Which one looks like a little too airbrushed? Which one annoys us with endless bits of paper?

Over the past few weeks at ignite we’ve been looking at choices and decision-making (listen to the podcasts – they’re fab!). In the evening course we’ve been looking at good leadership. What perfect timing for a general election!

How can I – a person who can only see a little perspective of what is going on, who can only ever understand some of the issues, who doesn’t really get the whole Fine Gael and Fianna Fail difference, who doesn’t have much time for reading party manifestos, who is prone to be selfish and prejudiced and wrong – How can I make a decision good enough for our nation? I’m glad we’re all in this together!

 How can I make a decision good enough for our nation?

We’ve learnt over the past few weeks that God does not want us to make blind, rash or emotional decisions. He has equipped us with the tools to follow him. By following him, we need not fear decisions, because He is in us and with us. As Michael reminded us a few weeks ago, He does not want us to be influenced by things that do not last. He wants us to be influenced by meditating on his Word;

Blessed is the one…
whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
and who meditates on his law day and night.
That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither
whatever they do prospers.
– Psalm 1:2-3

The great thing is, like when we were children, we are free to say “I want that one”. No one else needs to know what way we vote. We won’t be questioned on it. We can simply scribble and post. Perhaps that moment in the ballot box is the perfect time to apply the lessons we have learnt over the past few weeks?

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