My heart was "heavy" as I drove to work today; the residents in Lyon County are voting today on a proposal to build a Casino and Resort in our county.
(I've taken some information from my friend's blog: "A bit of background on the debate: Kehl Management of Riverside, Iowa, is proposing a $90 million casino/resort to sit in Lyon County, just east of Sioux Falls.Proponents say the casino/resort will bring needed jobs and entertainment to our area. Opponents say the jobs and fun will come at a big price, because of the social ills of gambling." Jennifer Dukes Lee).
At first, I wanted to vote yes because of the benefit that it would be for me and my family; the thought of my property taxes being cut in half was enticing. Until I realized that everything that we gain as a family, or as a community, or school district, will be at the cost of someone else. Now, I'm aware that there are plenty of people who like to "play around" at a Casino and they use it as a form of entertainment; I myself like to throw a few dollars into a video lottery machine once in a while.
The problem for some though, is that the video lottery and slot machines and the black jack table aren't always for entertainment. I don't understand a gambling addiction because that is not something that I struggle with, just like I don't understand being addicted to drugs or alcohol; but these things are very real for some people and I can't imagine the day-to-day struggles of any of these addictions and how they affect a person professionally and personally (which possibly includes a spouse and children).
I knew from the beginning how God wanted me to vote but I tried to ignore him; the reasons for my "yes vote" were selfish reasons. Finally, I had a conversation with God about how he wanted me to vote and he answered my question with a question: "When will you trust that I AM taking care of all of your needs? I have, I AM, and I will." Not only will he provide for my needs and the needs of my family, but he will also provide for the needs of others, whether they realize it or not.
My vote today will be "no" to myself and, even if it is just one person who benefits from not having this Casino and Resort in our county, I'm voting "yes" for that person! I don't want my gain to come at the loss or cost of someone else.
"Do not take advantage of each other. Instead, have respect for me. I am the Lord your God." Leviticus 25:17 (NIrV).
(For the record, this is post reflects my opinions and my belief in what God is requiring me to do; I will not judge or condemn someone who thinks differently than me and subsequently votes differently than I do. I think that Satan will have won a battle if there are more "yes" votes than "no" today - but either way, he has won a battle because this issue has divided our towns. I pray that no matter what the decision is after today, that our communities can reunite.)