Written by Andy Andrews
We are now hours before what many believe is the most important election of our lifetime. I have struggled over the past several weeks about whether to publicly endorse the presidential candidate of my choice. Could I sway votes? Should I?
Not too long ago, a federal election was decided by a mere several hundred votes. I am not a hugely known singer or a powerful movie star, so is it possible that I could sway an election if a few people found out what I thought? Seriously…me? Andy Andrews—a 54-year-old daddy and husband, lover of college football, fisherman of some expertise, a good guy by most accounts—me? Come on! Is it remotely possible that one person might be convinced to vote a certain way simply by becoming aware of what another person thinks?
Oh, I have made my decision. I know how I will vote. But should I tell you?
Of course, my closest friends know where I stand. Despite that, I have decided not to tell you. It wouldn’t matter anyway. I could no more “lead” you to my side of an argument than “insist” you enjoy liver or broccoli or whatever it is in your life that you’ve already decided you do not like. Therefore, what follows will not contain the words Democrat or Republican. After this moment, I will not write the words Conservative, Obama, Romney, or Liberal again.
I promise to tell you only what I think…
A few years ago, Michael Jordan was scorned by some of his peers for refusing to choose sides. He famously proclaimed, “Hey, Republicans buy shoes, too,” meaning that if he chose one candidate, supporters of the other would be angered and refuse to buy his products, thus causing his income to decrease. In effect, he said, “I am for me.”
If Michael Jordan is for himself, who am I for? It is a disturbing question most of us never ask. Having thought long and deeply, however…having prayed, and repeatedly sought explanation and understanding from persons wiser than myself, I have come to an odd conclusion. I am for me, too. But only because, first…I am for God. I am also for us…you and me. And our children. And our communities… Please, allow me to explain.
During your lifetime, have you ever believed something and been absolutely certain about what you believed…only to find out later that you were wrong? Of course you have. We all have. Those instances, however seldom they may have occurred, bring up the strange and awkward possibility of: Do I believe something right now…that might be wrong? Ugh. That’s a tough question.
Here, though, are some easy questions: Do you really want the best life has to offer? Do you want the decisions you make in your life to lead to “good” and “more” and “happier” and “better” for your children? If you could, would you make sure that the choices you made were always correct? Do you want your efforts to yield good results? Of course you do.
Well, here is a curious thing… To be absolutely sure your choices are accurate, those choices must obviously be based upon the truth. The Truth. Not what you feel or want… For a choice to be right, accurate, and correct—for its effect to yield good results forever and ever—that choice can only be based upon the clear, unvarnished truth. And the truth is the truth, right? Whether we know it or believe it or not, truth stands alone. So you’d better be very careful, because you can’t always believe everything you think.
Remember? You just admitted that you’ve been wrong before…
Our community, our state, our nation…exists as it does because of you. You, like it or not, have created the culture in which we live. With feeling or detailed research, by prayerful consideration or on a whim, you—and those around you—have done things and decided things that have blended together over time to create—to shape—the very nation in which we live today. Like it or not, as the saying goes, “It is what it is.” But where do we go from here?
If you had a magic wand, what would you make of our country? How would we all live? What would the rules be? What would opportunity look like?
If it were all up to you, where would you go from here? To determine where you go, first, it is important to know where you are.
So what about you? How do you think? Your very “thinking”—how and when and what you think—is critical because your very THINKING guides every choice—every single decision—that you make.
From that point, your CHOICES determine ACTION. Where do you go? What do you do?
Your every ACTION yields a RESULT. Always and every time. Your actions might yield good results or bad results, but every single thing you do—every ACTION—yields RESULTS.
Those RESULTS—good and bad—all pile up and mesh and mingle with the results of other people to form and shape the nation in which we live. All of our results blended together become what we call our CULTURE.
Thus, it is one’s THINKING—the way one thinks—that inevitably and quite literally creates the everyday world in which we all live. Are you satisfied with our everyday world? Do you think America is on a great course? Or are we in trouble? If America is in trouble, could someone’s thinking be part of the problem?
You don’t need me to tell you that you need to vote. I’m quite sure you’ve heard it before from someone you like better or trust more than me. But for the sake of us all, if you do vote, youmust vote wisely. You must choose wisely. For the moment, forget everything your friends think about you or believe about anything else. Because right now…this is about YOU.
YOUR thinking. YOUR nation’s future—the world in which YOUR children grow up—everything is in YOUR hands.
Quickly…examine your life and your results thus far. Your PERSONALresults…your finances…your employment prospects…your debt…what your next four years appears to look like…
Now, allow yourself to consider this unusual, but incredibly accurate, philosophy: If you are thinking like everyone around you is thinking, there might be something wrong. Why? Because everyone is not achieving extraordinary results. If you’re thinking like everyone else is thinking, you are only contributing to the average. Even if your results are a bit above average…they’re still average.
Do you want to be average? Do you want average financial results? Do you want an average marriage? Do you want to raise average children? Do you want to live in an average nation? Do you want a standard of living based upon the world’s average?
If you could wave a magic wand, you would make every part of your life’s results be wildlyoutside of average. Your life’s results in every area would be extraordinary!
Okay… If you want extraordinary results, then you’d better be very careful to avoid thinking like average people think. Why, you ask? Because if you think like the average person thinks, the results of that thinking will be…average.
It is simple logic. For you to create extraordinary results, yielding an extraordinary culture in which we can all live and thrive, you must think differently.
Did you know that during the past 25 years, not a single presidential election was won by more than 10 million votes? They’ve all been that close. Yet during the past 25 years, there has not been a single presidential election in which fewer than 100 million people of voting age did not vote. Apparently, the average person does not vote. Allow me to repeat a previous question: Do you want to be average?
In 1939, a modern, industrial, educated population of 80 million allowed 10% of those people to force a nightmare onto everyone in which their own government killed 11 million of their own citizens. But the Nazis did not “take over.” No…they were elected. The Nazi Party, even during the height of its power, never had more than 8.5 million members. Curiously, the average person at that time said their vote could never make a difference.
I wonder…if 10% of a country can drag all the average people into darkness, is it possible that 10% of us might rise up and drag America into the light?
The average person looks at the candidates and says, “I don’t like either of them.” In their private moments (they would never say it out loud) the average person might think, I could never bring myself to vote for a Mormon. Or he might think, I could never bring myself to vote for a black person.
Hmmm… Really? Then allow me to ask this: Do you have a calm assurance about where we are headed? Do you possess great confidence in America’s current direction?
If indeed you are concerned about our country’s direction as so many seem to be—if you see America as a great ship headed for an iceberg—then perhaps it is true that neither man between whom you are asked to choose as our leader is the “perfect” candidate. Maybe in four years or eight years we will have that perfect person, that Captain who has the ability to take the wheel of the ship and turn America totally around… But right now, if we don’t veer away from the iceberg, America might not have that chance.
So it seems that November 6, next Tuesday, is not about an election…so much as it is about a direction.
What direction do you desire?
What is true? What is “the truth”? Does a political party determine what is true? Do majorities determine what is true? If a thousand people believe something that is untrue, can it then become true?
You might believe that only God determines what is true. If that is correct, then we’d better decide what God believes… We must find some way to discern what the truth really is.
And speaking of God…does He really see everything? I mean…everything? Does He reallyknow our thoughts? Does He really watch everything we do? Seriously now…really…He records everything we do? He sees everything? Even when we are alone…in the voting booth…away from our friends?
When no one else knows which direction we are choosing for our country…does God really know how we vote? Because if He does, then yeah, the votes will be counted on November 6th…
But whether you vote and how you vote…THAT will be recorded for eternity.
Finally, as for choosing America’s direction, as for determining the TRUTH about what YOUbelieve God thinks… Just what does God think about taxes? Or abortion? Or same-sex marriage? Or helping poor people? Do you really want to sit this one out?
It’s not about an election. It’s about a DIRECTION. Again, average people don’t vote. Do you want to be average?
And privately (I know you would never say it out loud) but if “I would never be able to vote for a Mormon” or “I would never be able to vote for a black person” has ever crossed your mind, please consider this: We are talking about Leadership—direction—for a four-year period of time.
So, really? You couldn’t vote for a Mormon or for a black person? Just between you and me now…really? You’re telling me that if, tomorrow, your children are on an airliner whose pilot has just had a heart attack…and the only person on that plane with the knowledge and experience to land that jet safely on the ground is a black Mormon…that you won’t vote for him to take control?
Come on now…tell me the truth.
For information on how to book Andy Andrews for your next event, visit PremiereSpeakers.com/Andy_Andrews.