The Presidential election news is driving me crazy!! I am not saying anything about the candidates on either side, nor politics of any kind. I am simply saying “THE ELECTION IS OVER A YEAR AWAY!!”  To me, a new candidate could join this time next year and I would still have time to decide if I wanted to vote for them. I find it amazing that the media has moved this election coverage up so far into our lives…it is headline news every day and has been for months now.

I don’t think it is going to change. I’m sure over the next few months we will see candidates join or drop out and the news will continue all the way to July 2016 when each major party has their conventions and selects a candidate. Then it will be “full steam ahead” until November of next year and beyond. I just don’t quite see what all the excitement is about while there is so much important work to be done now and Obama has 14 months left give or take.

There has been a huge sense of urgency developed by social media and the regular media. I don’t get it, because we have a refugee world crisis on our hands and problems that seem deeper and wider than who is running for president…especially this early. We really need a stronger sense of urgency around the love of neighbor, care of the poor and the “least of these.” According to the Gospels we have work today to do, and we need not worry about tomorrow! The Lord said “tomorrow will have enough trouble of its own, worry just about today…” (Matthew 6:25).

I think it’s easy to watch TV, or our phones/I-pads, and stay disengaged. Watching the news is like that…it isn’t about us, necessarily, so we can remain detached and turn it off when we want. I believe God’s call on all of our lives is to “engage” and to do what we can, with a sense of urgency, to love and serve our neighbor. “Roger” my neighbor who lives behind me has multiple health and family issues and often asks for financial help. Since I have helped him out a couple times, he cuts my grass for free! He’s home during the day, on disability, but can use his riding mower. Cutting the grass is his small way of giving back. When we think about how much our God has given us in Christ, we also are called to give back in our time, using our talents and gifts, and our treasure…giving financially!

Regarding the world refugee crisis, I don’t know if I can do anything other than pray and donate to relief agencies. And maybe that is enough. Maybe our sense of urgency should come the knowledge we can’t fix it all, we can’t solve the whole problem, but we can pray! We can make a small donation, or volunteer locally.  Today, right alongside the national news, let us pray for our world, our country, our leaders, and for all of us to be involved in the love and care of our neighbors. The “Roger’s” of the world are waiting….now, today!

And, of course, a great way to love our neighbor is to invite them to attend a Via de Cristo weekend! Teams are formed now around the country and fall weekends are close at hand! Have a God-given sense of urgency to attend send-offs and closings, to sing as is possible and to round up a couple friends, co-workers, NEIGHBORS, and family to attend as pilgrims/candidates.

Pr. Doug Givan

Staff Chaplain

St. Vincent Clay (Brazil)

St. Vincent Seton Specialty (Indianapolis) (email)