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election anxiety

Nervous about election day? You’re not alone. So how to deal with the anxiety?

Monday afternoon Sara & Ken Aiken plan to board their 40foot yacht in Annapolis, MD and cruise out into Chesapeake Bay. “No phones, no television, no political discussion. Just a nice dinner in a quiet anchorage.” The Aikens don’t plan to return to the mainland before Thursday.

Sheryl Zohn hosts a podcast and is a script writer in Los Angeles. She’s planned calming tasks: reorganizing her bookshelves, organizing her son’s legos—by color. She’ll definitely stay away from Twitter—it's “an absolute gutter.” Facebook is less risky because she’s unfriended everyone who disagrees with her.

Pastor Jason Carlton of Memorial Baptist Church, De Queen, AR has planned a quiet dinner with his teenage daughters. After dinner he’ll turn on the TV news to see where things stand, then turn it off and pick up the new John Grisham book, “A Time for Mercy.” Then again, he may simply mute the TV.

A Harris Poll found that 68% of respondents describe the 2020 presidential election as a significant source of stress (compared with 52% in 2016).

Because of the pandemic America’s “anxiety level has been activated since March,” explains Psychiatrist Jud Brewer, director of Brown U. Therapeutic Neuroscience Lab. Social media has made it worse. “Social media platforms are a perfect vector for spreading emotional infection.” Elizabeth Plummer, clinical director at the Rice U. counseling center advises students to plan on how much media they’re going to consume.

This past Sunday was the annual
International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church. We watched video reports of religious persecution in the Central African Republic, Iran, China and elsewhere. Then prayed for Christians in those countries and for their persecutors.

Allow me to suggest that one reason for high anxiety is how easy life is in America. Yes, we have struggles and disappointments. Sooner or later we will all experience real, bitter loss. Still, we don’t fear government authorities pounding on our door in the middle of the night. We have no acquaintances in American prisons because of their religious beliefs. No one has been

If you are anxious about this election, do three things. First, pray. Prayer invites God in, and carves out room for our heavenly Father in our lives. Second, read the Bible. Reflect on how the Creator worked through all manner of events. Third, find someone who needs encouragement and be a blessing to them.

There is little reason for any citizen of the kingdom of heaven to be anxious about any human election. ~

Dan Nygaard