Year of Faith
Surrendering Fear on this Election Day
All except my pastor's wife. He's quite liberal; she's a conservative who loves Fox News.
Soon we were having a friendly, fascinating political discussion. It was calm, and cheerful, and fun. And we agreed on quite a bit. Even a law-and-order type like me, for instance, is horrified by the huge numbers of young black men in prison, and I believe that something must be done to reduce the excessively punitive approach to law enforcement. And once people have done their time, I think they should get back their right to vote.
Here's the thing I want to share on this election day, when we are so divided and distrustful of each other: I learned that my fear was entirely in my own head. Nobody hated me or disliked me or despised me for my opinions. They accepted me, without missing a beat.
I might never have learned this if I hadn't answered the call to become a deacon. I now see that this may be central in God's plan to make me into something fit to occupy Heaven.
I'm still nervous and worried about the election. But so much of my fear was about what others think of me. It turns out that I don't really know what others think of me; I'm actually scared of what I think they think. I'm torturing myself with fears and worries rooted entirely inside my skull. I've allowed Satan to camp out in my head and torment me endless with imaginings of my own worthlessness.
I don't know how to stop being this way. I've prayed for years, begging God to take this away from me.
Now, though, I think I figured out why this prayer has gone unanswered. Because the fear remained, and because it would have prevented me from doing my duties as a deacon, I had to confront it and admit it. And in the process I found that I had nothing to fear at all.
I hope I can apply this lesson to the rest of my life, so that I can keep a peaceful, brave, and cheerful heart, regardless of the outcome of the vote.
All the same—Go Romney!
John-Baptiste Doe is writing anonymously due to professional obligations. He shared this privately with Patheos and it is reprinted here with his permission.