I get in my car, close the door, and turn the ignition. As the engine roars almost as loud as my empty belly, I look toward my wife Melissa and begin the process; an endless conversation that has grown notorious amongst the Lane family. “Where are we going to eat?” I ask.
She hates when I ask and, truth be told, I hate asking. We’ve already made the decision not to leave the house until that question has been answered but, impatiently, we’re already in the car. And, of course, were ravenous.
“Whatever sounds good to you, wife,” I say politely. “No honey, I’m fine with whatever you want,” she responds. Deep down I know that isn’t quite the truth so I do what every good husband would do; I push a little more. “Melissa, beautiful Melissa, whatever you want to eat is what I want to eat.”
Back and forth we go. “Bo, I always decide. This time it’s up to you.”
I thought to myself, why is a decision that’s so easy become so difficult at times? In many areas of my life, I find myself asking that same question. But there are also times when decisions to be made are overwhelmingly complex, leaving me at a loss. This was the case on November 4th, 2008, when it came time to fulfill my civic obligation.
I knew exactly what (and, for the most part, who) I wanted to vote for and which measures I wanted to see collapse in front of Oregonians eyes. Filling out the ballot took less than five minutes. It was rather easy; easy until the time came to make my decision regarding the 44th president of the United States.
So I did what any other God-fearing, Christ-like person would do; I left it blank. Well, at least for the entire twelve minutes it took to get to the County Clerk’s Office. The ballot sat impatiently on the passenger seat and as I looked down, those six names stared vigorously back at me. They were forcing me to make yet another decision, one of countless magnitude and one I was not looking forward to.
As I found one of two last parking spaces available, I turned off the car, took a deep breath, and called my wife. “Melissa, who should I vote for?” I pleaded. “Pray about it,” she said, “and then you’ll know what to do.” I heeded her advice and mustered something short. I looked back at the ballot and thought that writing in Chuck Norris might be a better decision after all. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the first time that thought invaded my mind. But listening to my better judgment, I decided against Mr. Texas Ranger and chose something more Christ-like: an elimination process that has been around for more than 150 years.
“Eeny, meeny, miny, moe, catch a tiger by the toe. If he hollers make him pay, fifty dollars every day. My mommy told me to pick the very best one and you are not it.”
Cynthia McKinney was the first to go. Then Nader. Ironically and unintentionally, the last two candidates filled the Democrat and Republican slots. Needless to say, this didn’t make my decision any easier.
Sitting in my car that rainy Oregon afternoon allowed me time to think about the transition we as Americans are facing. I thought about the election and how it was bringing so many people together yet at the same time ripping so many others apart. I thought about all the difficult decisions and the sensitive issues presented. And I realized that we, regardless of popular opinion, have ultimately landed in the place God had preordained for us. And in that place lies yet another decision. Do we choose to hold fast and trust in God’s faithfulness and unfailing wisdom? Or do we set our minds on the distractions and fears instilled in us from our enemy?
In a world where it appears that all hell has broken loose, let us be reminded that where sin abounds, grace abounds even more. Knowing this, let us choose grace over condemnation. Let us choose Christ’s love over our own personal agendas. And let us choose prayerful dedication for leaders, rulers, and presidents over the lament of frustrating outcomes.
Let us choose according to the desires God has placed upon our hearts, even if they’re the hardest decisions we’ll ever face. And in this season, let us be thankful that God has everything – even our country’s financial and political positions – under control.
Ultimately, Melissa and I made a fruitful decision. Our teamwork landed us in a pleasant little restaurant on the north side; one with a great view and stunning golden arches.