The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

By Curtis Shelburne
Religion columnist 

Faith: Best way to vote for change is with God


Last updated 1/19/2021 at 3:53pm

Change. I love it.

Yes, and I also love each morning to throw open the blinds immediately to retina-scorching sunlight and then to jump into pep-rally-volume conversation.

If you believe any of the wretched falsehoods above, you surely don’t know me at all. If you think I love “change” ...

Evidently, to be a “progressive,” not a label I love, desire, trust, or in any way covet, one must accept the notion that change itself is always change for the better.

“What we need is change! Vote for change! CHANGE!”

Don’t folks realize that, by definition, change can go in two basic directions? When my appendix went bad, my body recorded a significant change, but I’d never happily vote for such.

And I would think that “progress,” as in “progressive,” implies change in a positive direction. How is change in a backward direction progress? If it is, well, forgive me for referring yet again to my appendix, but, as I recall, the more progressive it became, the less I appreciated the change. The various members of my body soon voted unanimously that it be cast out to progress on its own as best it could.

So, no; I’ve got some serious opinions about the kind of “change” I’d like to see. I just prefer real progress to the moonshine in the fruit juice being served by today’s self-styled “progressives.”

And I’ve long been wary of the kind of change/progress that proceeds from those bone-chilling words, “I’m from the government, and I’m here to help you.”

Politician X or Politician Y from Political Party A or Political Party B yells out a message: “I’ve got this great idea for change!” But what doesn’t seem to change these days is that whichever party wins, the country loses as we’re assailed with years of conspiracy theories and whining. It’s remarkable how similar whining always sounds. Have you noticed? When you’re trying to watch a movie and a baby is yowling, it’s awfully hard to tell whether the kid is a Democrat or a Republican.

“Change” in big business is rarely any more heartwarming. I’m always aware of a “hold onto your wallet and back away slowly” feeling when I get the letters we all get, fairly regularly, written in corporate-speak: “In our never-ending and tireless efforts to serve you better, ...”

No. Please. I beg you. Go tirelessly serve somebody else. Just leave me alone.

My wife recently shared a quote from a book she was reading (by Alexander McCall Smith) in which a wise African man explains to his daughter: “That is the problem with governments these days. They want to do things all the time; they are always very busy thinking of what things they can do next. That is not what people want. People want to be left alone to look after their cattle.”

That reminds me of the prophet Micah’s description of God-brought peace — a time when “every man will sit under his own vine and under his own fig tree, and no one will make them afraid” (4:4).

That kind of change sounds like progress. We happily mind our own business. No one makes us afraid. And no one profits from making us afraid.

I suspect that the only way to vote for that kind of change is to trust the Changeless One. And we get to vote on that every day.

Curtis Shelburne writes about faith for The Eastern New Mexico News. Contact him at

[email protected]


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