Sunday, November 06, 2016
A Civics Lesson In the Checkout Line At Wal-Mart
This is basketball season now. Since I have limited time to prepare meals and I loathe the fast food alternative, I often make myself a crockpot on Sunday to last me through the week. As I write, I have brown rice on the stove that will be mixed in with the healthy chicken stroganoff gurgling in the slow cooker. (If you want the recipe which even I can't mess up, send me a message!) After working out yesterday morning, I drove the the nearby Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market to purchase the necessary items for this week's evening menu. It didn't take long. I looked for the shortest line and found myself at the counter of a young man who I guessed was from Africa. He had checked out the contents of my cart several times before. Once, he complimented me on the sports shirt I was wearing, thanks to Sally. I like compliments so I enjoy going through his station. (I also know the joy of checking out Saturday morning shoppers thanks to my four years at the Jack And Jill Supermarket in Nebraska!) As I pulled out my checkbook, he asked a simple question:
"Have you voted yet?"
I explained that I was going to wait until Tuesday. I turned the question back around. He explained he was wasn't a citizen yet but hoped to be in about two years if I heard him correctly. I asked and he told me he was from Nigeria. I countered that I had taught many brilliant kids from his homeland so it must be a nation with intelligent DNA! He laughed. I learned he is a college student majoring in IT- I predicted his job skills would always be in demand. His days working as a cashier are numbered, I further predict. Employers are always looking for employees who are skilled and customer friendly, especially with diploma in hand. He'll make it in the world
This is what I took away from our two to three minute encounter; he just expected that as a citizen, I would be voting. He just assumed I would exercise my right to freely cast my ballot. He didn't ask IF I was voting- my guess it would be inconceivable to him that I wouldn't. Truthfully, I've sat out some elections but not for any protest. Federal elections are always held early in November on Tuesdays, coinciding with opening games for high school basketball squads and I've at times let busyness get in the way of voting. I bet my new friend won't let inconvenience distract him from the polling places when he becomes an American. Hope he gets his chance.
You know, as Christians we have certain rights as well. We have the right to call God our Father and speak to Him anytime about anything. We have the right to rejoice in the forgiveness of our sins by the blood of our Savior, Jesus Christ, shed on the cross. We have the right to belong to a second human family, those who like us have also been washed in the blood of the lamb. And the list doesn't stop there. Why wouldn't I freely take these privileges which belong to me? It should be a given that I take advantage of my standing as a citizen in the realms above. Jesus chastised His men for excitement over casting out demons, countering they should rejoice their names were written in heaven. My name is listed in Harris County, Texas voter registration rolls but that is simply temporary. The election into the Kingdom of Heaven is the one that matters eternally. And there will be no absentee ballots that day which isn't marked on any calendar. So go forth to your civic duty and vote on Tuesday if you haven't yet. But please remember that our allegiance belongs first to that celestial home where our final address will be. God bless America.
Applicable quote of the day:
Nobody will ever deprive the American people of the right to vote except the American people themselves and the only way they could do this is by not voting.
Franklin D. Roosevelt
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Posted by Steve Hawley at 9:04 PM