Freedom to Choose

HOW BIG IS YOUR FREEDOM?  PHOTO BY LIZ GRAY — JUNE 2009 — NYC

     At last! It’s here!  Election Day!  The incumbent verses the challenger.  The red verses the blue.  The D verses the R.   The right one verses the wrong one.  The list goes on!

Who will you choose and why?

What if you’re stuck and not certain of your choice?  Then get busy TODAY and research your candidates and compare them to your values.  In the world of endless media to acquire an informed mind, ignorance is no excuse!

To all who may see this, I implore you to vote today!

Why?  Because millions around the world would do anything to have the freedom to choose who is in power of the land they call home, or at the very least, were destined by birth to inhabit.  Vote because untold blood was shed, so you could stay free and maintain this right.  Vote because you love your country and care enough to be informed about the choices of those in power and how it will impact your life and others.

Vote because you reject negativity and cynicism to take root in your soul, despite the fact you may not be totally overjoyed with the choices and there has never been a perfect candidate.    Vote because you are telling the world your voice and your view matters.   Vote because you stand for this and reject that.

Validate that which you value by voting!

Life, liberty (freedom!), and the pursuit (the hopeful intention to achieve, not the guarantee) of happiness are three truths that are too valuable to squander because you were too lazy to vote.

Above all, when you cast your vote, may you have peace with your soul!

Join the millions of Americans tonight who will be glued to their TV, waiting with anticipation, dread, and elation, awaiting the direction and vision America steps into the future with.

Vote for responsibility.  Vote for freedom.  Vote for truth.   Vote for honor.  Vote for life.

VOTE!

And…..A Prayer for Wednesday:

Dear Lord, Many of will be rejoicing, but many of us will feel crushed in spirit.  Help those of us who feel victorious not fall prey to boasting.  Help those of us who feel as if we’ve lost to not feel defeated in spirit.   We are Americans!  As a nation we have many problems socially, economically, and spiritually.  But we are a great people.  We have been blessed with a diversity of divine wisdom if we just ask You for it.    We are not victims; we are victors!     We are free to choose how we are led and free to choose how we will respond once our President is chosen.   Today is the day I choose to shake the hand of my neighbor, to hug my friend, and love my fellow American because I am indeed free.

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.  Galatians 5:1

If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.   1 Chronicles 7:14

An interesting link to how the Electoral College works (be sure to watch the video):

http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/electoral-college/about.html

Pen Fed

Photo credit:  Promopencollector.com

Grab your nearest pen and examine it’s features. Is it a micro billboard for a dentist, a plumber, a church, an insurance agency?  Where did you get it?  Did you acquire it honestly or do you just have no idea where it came from?

If you are in the latter category, you may have PKD or partial kleptomania disorder.  You don’t mean to steal pens; you just do.  “Can I borrow a pen please?” is code for “you’re never gonna see this baby again.”

Maybe it started as a baby when you held your first rattle.   Maybe it started as a toddler in preschool when the other kid’s toy was more desirable than yours, so–

You snatched it.

You weren’t thinking of the future.  You were living in the now, a positive character trait you perhaps spent untold thousands of dollars relearning from your shrink, as you learned to let it go (all your anxiety) and embrace the present (for it is indeed a gift).

The thing is we live in a highly distractible world.  Most people schedule their calendar, pay their bills, check their email, conduct their personal and professional calls, and tweet and post to the world their minute by minute status at the CLICK of a button on a vast array of smart devices.

Not me.  I mean I have a smart phone and I use some of its features.  But I’m still a pen and paper kind of gal. And my pocket book runs deeper than my memory.  I mean way deep.

Even when I’m up to my elbows in used Kleenexes, crumpled coupons, crumb-crusted chopped off lipstick tubes with no tops, loose coins, a few Happy Meal toys, and my emergency dollar (to be used only if the apocalypse is suddenly upon us) I continuously bump up against this truth:

I can’t find my friggin’ pen!

So I feign extreme hardship and ask the nearest stranger that exudes an ounce of grace, may I please borrow one.    I bat my eyelashes, and voila!

A new pen magically appears in my hand!

Van Cleef and Arpels — Montblanc’s Mystery Masterpiece — Value:  $730,000

So I write my check at the check-out line, and then notice I can’t find my phone.  Hey, where did my kid go?  He was right here!  Dang it!  The cashier already bagged my stash and forgot to use the reusable bags under my cart again!  On and on the physical and mental drama continues.  But time marches forward quickly.  Soon I find my kid, load my car with supplies, and what seems like a matter of nanoseconds, I am at the bank teller line, ready to make a deposit.  Correction, ready to make a withdrawal and play a round of “robbing Peter to pay Paul” with a variety of low-valued bank accounts.

I hit SEND in the bank’s drive thru line, as I simultaneously hit CALL.  Whoosh, goes the pneumatic cylinder, straight to the banker’s awaiting hands.  “May I help you?” she asks, sensing I’ve just wasted electricity to send her a tube of nothing.

“May I borrow a pen, please?”

“No problem, Liz.”

I love it.  They all know me.  How is it that a big metropolitan bank has an entire staff who knows me personally by name, despite an absence of large funds or influence?  Now that’s service.

And then I remember, oh yeah, I already got a pen. Oh well.   By now, the new pen has sailed effortlessly through space and time and is now in my hand conducting complicated banking business.

“Liz?” the teller asks.

“Yes?”

“It looks like your front tire is low on air.  You may wanna take a look at that.”

Seriously?  Now that is PHENOMENAL service I think.   I’m so inspired by this teller’s personal concern I may go home and write a letter of commendation to the branch manager.

“Thank you!  I will!” as I send back the various checks, withdrawal, and transfer slips, and a roll of coins as I remember, oops, you’re not supposed to send those.  You might clog the pipes.  Too late!

Whoosh!  The various receipts come back.  Thanks again!” I exclaim as I drive off, still so happy that my bank teller is more concerned about my personal welfare than just money.

An hour later I’m home, the tire’s infused with fresh air, my kid’s had his meal on wheels, and all our supplies our mostly put away.  My son is ready to do his homework.

Arrrghh!  He can’t find his pencil, one of at least two hundred I’ve surely bought this year, a penance or form of poetic justice I suppose, and one I endure often.    I plunge both arms into my pocket book to see if I can find a token of tree and lead.

“Just forget about it” I say, “just use a pen this time.”  I pray his first grade teacher doesn’t mind.

Oh no!  I’m plagued with guilt.  I silently ask God for forgiveness.  Almost immediately, this burden mysteriously lifts.

“Which one do you want?” I ask my son.  The purple one (Dr. Elvin Schmidt, Proctologist) or the black one (Black Bic, no frills—probably came from the bank).

I try to behave, be kind, and live in the truth.  But if you ever find yourself annoyed, because you can’t find your pen as you spin a 360 stammering, “I just had it!”, then I humbly ask your forgiveness now.

For I am just a lowly, aspiring writer whose brain thinks at a slightly higher RPM than a car’s tachometer straining in the red zone.

I can only say a prayer and hope St. Peter holding his Book of Life has his pen firmly in his grasp.