March 15, 2012
Someone described what I do in ministering at the State Capitol as "like running a lemonade stand on the side of the freeway." The “product” is excellent … the challenge is that most people are rushing by too quickly to enjoy it.
It's true. Government leaders are busy people. Most are “type-A” personalities - hard chargers, highly accomplished, lots of irons in the fire. All of them struggle to balance the demands of their crowded schedules, frequent travel, and time with family and loved ones. (Guess which one of these three gets neglected most often.)
While all legislators are busy, ours in California are among the busiest.
We are one of only a small number of states that have a full-time legislature.
We have term-limits, which means never-ending campaigning and campaign fund-raising events.
Our legislators author approximately 2,000 new laws each year that must be discussed and voted on (2,323 last year).
Our legislative districts are much larger than any other state in the U.S.. Take a careful look at this astounding graph and data that were forwarded to me by a legislative staff member. When I saw these my jaw dropped. They show that each Assembly Member in California represents 2.8 to 139 times more constituents than lower house legislators in other states! This is 188 times more constituents per legislator than when our state was first founded and similarly higher than our nation's original state legislators! As high as these numbers are, our State Senators (upper house) represent nearly 1 million people each - twice as many as our Assembly members and more than U.S. Congress members. Larger districts means more responsibility, more people demanding their time, more meetings, and more stress.
This year, due to redistricting and elections, many legislators and families had to move to different cities and homes.
Because of the geography and size of our state, most legislators are away from home and family more often than they are with them, and traveling back and forth at least weekly via car or plane.
In short, they have good reason to feel busy.
In the midst of this, I come holding out the Lord's offer of refreshment and rejuvination – not in a 25 cent glass of lemonade … but in the free Good News of Christ and the Word of God. Some pull over long enough to “taste and see that the Lord is good" (Psalm 34:8), but others rush on by.
Please continue to pray that more will thirst for Him (“Come, everyone who thirsts..." Isaiah 55:1) and "be still, and know that [He is] God" (Psalm 46:10).
And no matter how busy you and I are, let's make sure we take time to drink of all He has for us too.
Your Missionary to the State Capitol,
California State Director