2018 Primary Election, Faith

Primary Fast: Day 14

You made it. 

If you began the Fast with me, today is the last day of skipping breakfast and lunch. (Unless you decide to make one-meal-a-day a permanent habit.)

What Fasting Can Do

Here’s what happened to you during the fast (if you followed the prescription):

  • You probably lost about five pounds.
  • Your pants feel looser.
  • You pull your belt a notch tighter.
  • You saved money. (I saved $98.) 
  • You learned that food is an option most of the time.
  • You learned you’re more disciplined with a stronger will than you thought.
  • You prayed more.
  • You’re more patient.
  • You’re probably a bit happier overall.

What Fasting Can’t Do

Fasting probably doesn’t change God’s plan.

I know I presented the idea of fasting as a political tool to help your favorite candidates and causes win. I asked you to consider fasting and praying for Dottie Bailey and Proposition A. 

The thing is, I’m not sure praying for a particular outcome in an election is the right way to go. In reality, we’ve been praying that God’s will be done on election day. We’re also praying that our hopes are aligned with God’s will. It would be really odd to hear someone pray, “God, let Dottie Bailey win if that’s your will. If it’s not your will, please calibrate your will.”

Instead, we pray that God gives us the grace of discernment to see His will clearly. Then, that He gives us the grace of courage to do what we can to advance His will. (Yes, God could do it all Himself, but we know that He gives us the chance to help Him. The way dads let their little kids help them with chores around the house.)

While asking God to take sides in a political race is a little more legit than asking Him to take sides in a football game, most of us believe God has a little higher perspective on things than you and me. We believe that Dottie Bailey would advance God’s will more than her opponent. If we didn’t, we wouldn’t help her win. We’re assuming that God’s will involves more jobs, less suffering, and more individual freedom. We could be wrong about that. We don’t really know.

When praying for a particular outcome, it’s probably best to show a little humility. Based on everything I know, I believe that God works through people, that people who are free to do good advance His will, and that Dottie Bailey in the Missouri House will leave good people freer to do His will. It makes sense to me, but God could roll His eyes when he reads this post. 

What You Can Do

Pray. Vote. Help at the polls.

If you’d like to help by standing or sitting at a polling place for an hour or two tomorrow, please sign up here. It’s easy work for good people with the gift of discernment who want to help advance God’s will on earth as best you can determine what His will is. 

And if you’re wrong, God’s mercy is limitless.

Happy voting.

Author: William Hennessy

Co-founder of St. Louis Tea Party Coalition and Nationwide Chicago Tea Party Persuasive design expertLatest book: Turning On Trump: An Evolution (2016)Author of The Conservative Manifest (1993), Zen Conservatism (2009), Weaving the Roots (2011), and Fight to Evolve (2016)I believe every person deserves the dignity of meaningful work as the only path to human flourishing.