A winter storm is predicted to blanket much of Iowa tonight, bringing blizzard conditions and icy roads. Meanwhile, the first ballots of the 2016 presidential election will be cast by courageous souls who brave the elements and the unusual meetings known as "caucuses."
Here's how they work.
Republicans go to meetings where they listen to speeches from local representatives of the various presidential campaigns. Then they write the name of their preferred candidate on pieces of paper, which are tallied and reported to the state party, which adds the votes and declares a winner.
Democrats go to meetings, but they sit in different parts of the room depending on the candidate they support. If a particular candidate doesn't get the support of fifteen percent of the people in the room, the voters in that section can move to a group supporting another candidate. When every group comprises at least fifteen percent of the total, the results are final. The totals in each group are then used to divide that precinct's delegates, which are then reported to the state party, and a winner is declared.
Those of us in states without caucuses vote by going to a precinct and casting a ballot. We don't have to listen to speeches or move around rooms until we find a group to join. I admire the voters of Iowa who will endure the weather and their political process to help choose our next president.
There's a lesson here for disciples of the one who said, "If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me" (Luke 9:23). Why does Jesus want our total commitment? Because the Master Carpenter can mold only what he can touch. The Great Physician can heal only those who trust him. The Good Shepherd can lead only the sheep who will follow.
And Jesus deserves all it costs to follow him, and more.
Years ago I attended a rally staged by Louie Giglio's ministry. Some 25,000 college students from all across the country gathered in a massive field. They brought tents and sleeping bags for shelter. However, a terrible storm swept through the area before the event. Tents were blown away; students slept on gym floors; some lost everything they brought.
When Louie stepped onto the stage to welcome the students, he began by recounting all they had endured. I expected him to compliment their perseverance and courage. Instead, he pointed toward the sky and announced, "And our God is worth all of that."
Do you agree?
Publication date: February 1, 2016
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