If you live in the United States in 2016, you can hardly take a trip to the water cooler without being asked, "Who are you going to vote for?" Even interested individuals and commentators in other countries cannot keep from expressing their views on the topic, even though their stake in the election is zero. If you have been involved in previous presidential elections, you may have experienced what is called buyer's remorse – the regret that comes from hopes and expectations unrealized, and maybe worse, revulsion for your former choice for president.
For those who ever did, or are currently looking for a life partner, the experience of choosing a mate is even more important and complicated. Not only is there internal struggle and pressure about making the right decision, there are a multitude of additional individuals making commentary, suggestions, and warnings. The pressure to avoid "buyer's remorse" is already internalized in you, but the added voices and opinions of those you already have relationships with, create additional mental conflict and angst. The big question is, "Can I live with this person for the rest of my life?"
The "escape clause" for selecting the wrong president can be realized in four – or at the most eight – years, unless there is an impeachment. The implications to me for selecting the wrong spouse are much more personal, expensive, and heart-rending. Anyone who has gone through or watched a divorce knows that it is like a very slow-motion plane crash. Moreover, the "escape clause" for selecting the wrong spouse is either a lifetime, or a divorce.
If when I get to heaven and after a million years decide I cannot live in the same universe with God, where am I going to go? What if after a million years God says He cannot live in the same universe with me? Where will He go? Or what will He do with me? These questions point to the fact that both God and I must be sure that we trust each other enough to be able to live together in harmony for all eternity. If there is to be "buyer's remorse" or a "divorce" between God and myself, it must occur before we begin our relationship journey for eternity. In fact, the Election Decision – My Vote – is being cast every day as I build the relationship of love and trust needed to last for eternity.
Dennis Hollingsead works in the Office of Development at Andrews University.
Image credit: James Bokovoy / NAD
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