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home : bishop : columns

11/3/2016 9:00:00 AM
BISHOP'S COLUMN
Too young to vote?
BY BISHOP EDWARD B. SCHARFENBERGER


So, you can't vote because you're not old enough? Nonsense. Everyone can vote!

I don't mean you have to lie about your status or pretend you're dead just to get your vote counted, as I've heard some folks do to swing elections. You can vote every day -- and your vote counts. In fact, your vote will make all the difference!

Just because you can't pull a lever or scratch an "X" on a ballot yet doesn't mean you can't and don't make choices that move the whole world - beginning with you and the world around you. Every choice you make is a vote!

Here's how can you vote and make a difference:

•  Choose life! Your life is good and it's important. There will never be another you.

Your generation is fast becoming the most "pro-life" generation we've seen in a long time. Why? Maybe you've seen your own sonogram - or your brother's or sister's. You know you were alive and kicking before you were even born. You know that life does not just belong to the rich and powerful. Little lives count, too, and we must protect them. If that's your choice, you are voting for life.

•  Choose truth. You hate being lied to. You don't like phonies. You can handle the truth. You realize that sometimes the truth can hurt, but you can be brave. You'd rather know when a friend is in pain, so you can be there to help, or at least listen.

You also like when others listen to you and take you seriously. You want to be in on things, not left out. (BTW, if you don't like friends texting while you're talking to them, then don't do that to them, either. Fair is fair.)

•  Choose the way. What does that mean? A lot of well-meaning folks may ask what you want to be when you grow up. It's annoying sometimes: How are you supposed to know? Maybe you have a good idea and maybe you don't yet, but you do know it makes a difference to love what you are doing...to make the right choices in life on a career...to choose friends well...to follow your heart - what we call a vocation.

It's not just about the "what" that you do, but the way you are to be: a father, a mother, a caregiver, a change-maker, or even a priest or a religious sister or brother. Do not be afraid of your vocation! It's yours. Own it.

All three choices above -- the life, the truth and the way -- are really ways to vote. Did you know that this is actually how Jesus describes Himself, too? He says, " I am the way and the truth and the life." If you choose Jesus, you choose all three. You have a great goal (eternal life, God, heaven), a noble cause (goodness and truth) and a sure way to get there (Jesus, the friend who never lies or leaves you).

That's something to think about before deciding with whom you should spend your life, how you should spend your time and talent or what you should do with the rest of your life. Ask Jesus! Ask Him what, who and how He wants you to be. Choose Him as your best friend.

I have made that choice. I have to do it every day. You can, too.

That vote will make all the difference.

(Follow the Bishop at www.facebook.com/AlbanyBishopEd and on Twitter @AlbBishopEd.)





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