This entry is part of a series of blogs that connect political volunteering with spiritual themes. These observations come from my current volunteering for a congressional candidate. Today: Some personal comments.
With about a month to go in this campaign, I thought I would write a bit more about how political volunteering is settling into our bodies and souls. This might be a good time to reflect on what’s transpired and what’s still to come.
To review: For several months now, Chris and I have been working on the campaign of a candidate for the U.S. House of representatives, who we believe can supplant the incumbent and forge a better path to well-being for the country. The work has been satisfying for our spirits, and has helped to diminish our anxiety about the state of the nation.
I started this series of blogs to reflect on its spiritual qualities, but also to invite you to consider campaigning as part of the fullness of your years. Some of what I share here holds that same intent: Asking you to offer your time, energy and money to a campaign close to you!
Campaign volunteering can be hard work, requiring energy, flexibility and attention to shifting priorities and details. This has been good work, too. We’ve met people—campaign staff, other volunteers and voters–who’ve inspired us by their devotion to the common good. Their examples continue to re-energize our spirits, our hopes, our relationships.
This is somewhat new to us, fascinating and engrossing. We have tried to keep our volunteering within a reasonable amount of time and effort, but the spirit of this thing—the realization that current politics is critical to the future of this nation and its values—can stick with us long after any day’s work.
Campaigning brings its own rewards, and so we carry into our non-volunteering time the feeling that this effort is a blessing. There may even be something sacred about what we’re doing—putting Christ-born beliefs into tangible actions. That’s fulfilling in every way.
Our tasks are starting to shift to the end-game, when we move from persuasion and vote-tallying to actually getting out the vote. That will likely mean that this work will get more intense—grabbing more and more of our emotions. I hope we’re ready to ramp up our involvement to match what these final weeks will require.
We’re not quite ready for this work to be finished—it seems so vital, so connected to the greater good we claim to serve. God’s will written into political enterprises. But as time goes on, normal life will start to pull on us. (Or perhaps, life after this particular election might NOT return to its former condition!)
It seems likely that after we climb this particular mountain—getting our guy elected and helping turn the corner on a dismal part of United States history—other mountains will appear. Perhaps other political work; other causes to support; other callings in prayers and Scripture to answer. Engagement in the public sphere may become a greater part of our identity or lifework.
We trust that the future is in God’s hands, and God’s call will come again. For now, though, it’s back to campaigning with Spirit.