Keep Your Eyes Fixed on Jesus: The Importance of Focusing on God during an Election Year


     It’s a good thing the Presidential Election year only comes every four years. For many it is only too easy to get caught up in the insults, allegations and sensational news stories. Others drive themselves half crazy researching policies, scrolling through polls, and watching every second of the debates without even breathing lest they miss an important word. I confess to being one of the latter. When asked to do an essay on immigration policies, I’ll get delayed when I go to the candidates’ websites by looking up everything else before even thinking about my assignment. I can’t even tell you how much time I spend watching C-SPAN, where every second of ten-hour Senate sessions is streamed live. During the Republican National Convention, I skipped supper because I would rather watch the roll call of the states. And when the presidential race is between my two least favorite candidates, I divert my attention to Senate campaigns.

     Now I’m not saying having an interest in politics is a bad thing. For legislators around the country, politics is a way of life. They spend hours trying to protect the nation and its people. Politics can be a good and rewarding hobby or occupation, but only if you do one thing: keep your focus on God.

    Allow me to illustrate. Ever since January of this year, Marco Rubio was my favorite presidential contender. While most candidates simply complained about the bad foreign policy, national defense and terrorist threats that were driving our country to disaster, Senator Rubio added that America is the most beautiful and amazing country in the history of the world, and we have the strength and the resources to face the challenges that lie before us. He was constantly talking about the greatness of the American Dream, and how this was the only place in the world where anyone’s dream can be realized through perseverance and hard work. He had a way of speaking which made one proud to be an American. And his conservative principles were ones that could ensure liberty and prosperity for years.

    When he dropped out of the race in March, I was upset. But the next day I watched the speech he had made the previous night, and I was set almost totally at peace about his exit. Throughout the speech he retained the cheerful, optimistic attitude which had made him revered by so many Americans. But for me, the best part of the speech was when he quoted the Psalms, saying, “Let us praise the Lord, in whose hands all things lie.” Suddenly I realized the thing that I had had trouble remembering for the past several months: That God is in total control of everything. That He doesn’t always give us what we want, but always what we need. And while we might not be able at the moment to see His overarching plan, it is always there, and someday, when we least expect it, we will see the fruits of what we thought was a disaster. Sure enough, a few days ago, Rubio won his Florida Senate Republican primary by 50 points, and is now leading his Democratic challenger in the polls.

    So you see, everything that happens in our lives, the good and the bad, has a place in God’s plan for mankind. And we can take great comfort if we lift up our sufferings and disappointments every day with the beautiful thought that someday, we will be able to see that our trials were a blessing that brought us or others closer to God. And so, when Americans across the country go to vote in November, remember to stay optimistic no matter what happens, and, most importantly, keep your eyes fixed on Jesus.

By Catherine Woods