Fairly Spiritual: Dealing with election withdrawals

It’s four days after the big election and I’m still going through campaign withdrawals.

I existed so long within the cacophony of election 2008 that it’s difficult to rest in the stillness of a post-election climate. The contrast is too jarring. Frankly, I’m having a difficult time remembering how to live in a world where every television commercial is not an attack ad and every piece of mail is not a smear campaign.

Suddenly, my e-mail inbox has gone dormant. Although my “delete forward” pinky still twitches when I open my browser. To make matters worse, Barack Obama and John McCain have stopped calling. It appears once the election is over, they have more important things to do than leave an inspiring message on my voicemail. Seems somewhat rude if you ask me.

What am I going to do without the pressure of perpetual politicking? What will my children do? Just a week before the election, my 2-year-old Samuel turned to his mother, looked up, smiled, and said these precious words, “I’m Darcy Burner, and I approved this message!” Now that the votes have been counted, who’s going to approve the messages my children hear? Dora the Explorer simply will not stand behind her advertising.

It’s all a bit surreal.

Millions, possibly billions of dollars are spent to win the ability to govern our nation. About

80 percent of that money is used to creatively throw mud at our opponents. We go through countless months of wallowing in the muck and the mire, and then, bam, it’s all over.

The politicians move on while we are left with an election echo. This democracy is truly a strange sight to behold and bemoan. After months and months of hard-fought campaigning, we pick our winner and move ahead. For at least a month or two, the electioneers take a holiday.

During this brief respite, we might need to take stock of the issues that cannot be solved by our newly elected officials. Now might be a good time to look at areas within our own jurisdiction.

The simple truth is most of our biggest problems cannot be solved through voting. No matter how much money you shell out for the Republican or Democratic party, they will do little to help your marriage, love your children, or answer your need for true meaning and purpose. Politics cannot change the personality or spirit of your home.

It is truly awe-inspiring to comprehend the millions of people who were mobilized to care about our last election. We became an impassioned, blogging, sign holding, e-mail forwarding, radio show calling, platform arguing nation. We once again showed the world that we value our democracy.

What if we used this same passion to value our God-given existence? What if we gave this same effort to healing our homes and restoring our most important relationships? The sad truth is it is far easier for some of us to vote for God than it is for us to let God into our broken places. I might be able to yell at a rally, but to talk openly and honestly with my children about my failings, well that is a far more difficult task.

“You are the most dangerous person in your life!” I frequently tell myself this simple truth. When it’s all said and done, I will stand before my Creator and He will look into my eyes and search my heart. I honestly don’t think He’ll spend much time asking me about who I voted for in 2008. Instead, my heart will be laid bare and God will know if I truly loved those who had been entrusted to my care. The most dangerous thing I could do is lose track of this sacred responsibility. I was made to love and to love deeply.

As we recoup from election fatigue, I encourage you to take a moment to look into the mirror and ask yourself this simple question. “Does my life reflect the reason God made me?” If the answer feels like a no, then I want to encourage you that now is a perfect time to seek out and embrace real change.

Not only can you change, but you will change in a climate of love.

Doug Bursch hosts “The Fairly Spiritual Show” Saturdays at 10 a.m. on KGNW 820 AM. He also pastors Evergreen Foursquare Church. Evergreen meets Sundays at 10 a.m. at the Riverside High School Theater. He can be reached at www.fairlyspiritual.org or doug@fairlyspiritual.org.