Unless you've been living in a cave for the last six or seven years, it should be obvious that times are tough all over. Unemployment is high, and current events are scary. Without crying "Fear! Fire! Foes! Awake!", let us see what we can do, as individuals.
1. If you have a job, give thanks. As a follower of Jesus of Nazareth, I give thanks to God the Father.
You may have other ideas; it is not my intent here to proselytize you. It's
the attitude of gratitude that you'll need. Such an attitude helps keep us grounded, regardless of how well we're doing.
2. Simplify your life. Now is not the time to expand. Look for ways to streamline.
For example, drink coffee in the morning at home, rather than buying a
latte on the way to work, or wherever. Money in the hand is better than
money out the window. Our dollars have less buying power these days;
you might need that extra five bucks for something more important.
3. While these are dangerous times, don't get so wrapped up in the news that you lose perspective.
Remember that reporters must generate numbers to keep their jobs. In simpler terms, they
get paid to sensationalize.
There are quite enough bad tidings in
the average newscast to depress a clown on laughing gas. Remember to
follow the money, and get to the bottom of the news item. Quisnam beneficium?
no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the
things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof." (Matthew 6:33-34)
4. Keep your head. Whether
you know it or not, people are watching you: wives, children,
significant others; friends, co-workers, and so on. Panic not only
won't help, it will hurt.
If you pray, pray for wisdom to know
what to do in these times. My Bible says, "If any of you lacks wisdom,
let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and
it will be given to him." (James 1:5)
Strive to be one who can remain calm, even when things are going wrong
- be the calm at the center of the storm. When we panic, it's too easy
to miss the way out.
5. Make adjustments, when and IF you can.
Is your area hard-hit by recession? If so, can you relocate? There
are some parts of the country which are doing better than others.
relocate? Each case is different, but again, "pray for wisdom" comes
to mind. There are many variables (i.e., elderly relatives needing care,
a house that isn't selling, etc).
Self-reliance and personal
responsibility are two of the traits that have made America great, or
more accurately, that have made her people great. It requires flexibility of mind and spirit; of seizing opportunity and running with it. It's what we Americans do.
* * * * *
received a e-mails asking about things I'm discussing here; it's
easier to offer advice when specifics are known, so this is fairly generic. Nevertheless, you all
have common sense. I don't think anything I've said here will surprise
too many folks.
What I'd like you take away, at the end, is some
reassurance. Times are tough, and I believe they're going to remain
tough for quite awhile. People who are equally tough will be flexible,
and will learn to adapt.
Be of good cheer, my friends. We will get through this; we always do.