I Have No Job: What Can I Do?
“Times are hard,” I said. “I’ve never worried so much about money. I keep asking myself if we’re going to make it!”
“I know,” He replied. “Times like these try men’s souls–you find out what you’re made of.”
“I would willingly work but I need a job!” I stated.
“It’s hard for most people,” He replied. “Many are counting on food banks and food stamps. Their houses are upside down with more debt than value.”
“I’m frustrated with Washington,” I continued. “Neither the President nor Congress are helping. The plans they’ve tried have failed.”
“They’re caught in the blame game,” He said. “No one is taking responsibility for their part in this disaster.”
“I blame the Federal Reserve too,” I complained, “not just Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac. The bubble the Fed created through easy money and inflation led to this bust. We want to believe the government can solve all our problems, and the politicians want us to believe it so we will give them more money and more power. Look where it has got us: out of control government, out of control spending, out of control regulation and as a consequence no jobs.”
“I know,” He said, “but why do you blame someone?”
“I like to blame someone else,” I replied. “It protects me from feeling responsible or having to do something. You’re certainly not going to tell me the politicians and the bankers haven’t played their part?”
“Yes, they have,” He replied, “but what good is blaming going to do you?”
“It relieves my frustration, “I answered. “It let’s me express my anger.”
“Do you want to protest in the streets?” He asked. “Would that express your ire?”
“It’s tempting,” I replied, “but it’s not just about what’s going on outside me. It’s about what’s happening inside me.”
“What do you mean?” He asked.
“I feel a lot of fear,” I said. “I’m afraid of running out of money. I wake up in the middle of the night trying to figure out how to pay our bills.”
“What else are you feeling?” He inquired.
“I’m totally frustrated and angry,” I said. “I see no effective leadership in our nation. Instead of bringing us together to help one another, the President is dividing people. He’s setting the tax receivers against the tax payers, the poor against the rich. He’s blaming the Congress and the Congress blames him. No one is stepping forward to lead us.”
“You look really worried.” He said.
“I am worried,” I said. “I’m worried for our country like I’ve never been before. Everyone has to scrimp. It’s good that people are learning to be frugal and the value of saving. At the same time there could be blood in the streets!”
“What make’s you say that?” He questioned.
“The more we play the blame game the less chance we have to come together,” I responded. “The blame game can escalate into fighting.”
“Once violence gets started it can be difficult to stop,” He acknowledged. “People can get hurt, even killed… Do you think that will be the worst of it?” He asked.
“No,” I said. “I see our country being fractured. People can’t even discuss their differences they feel so at odds. It must be like it was over slavery before the Civil War.”
“You’re right,” He said. “It was just like that during the Civil War. Families fought and killed each other based on being in the north or the south.”
“That’s really tragic,” I said, “killing relatives and people you love.”
“It was that way during the Revolution too,” He responded. “Families split irreparably over whether they were revolutionary Patriots or Loyalists to the King.”
“So how can we heal it?” I asked. “How can we come back together?”
“You can’t heal from the outside,” He answered. “You have to heal on the inside. Conditions and circumstances always get blamed because that’s the easy distraction. The question is: are you yourself at peace?”
“No,” I answered. “How can I be at peace when I’m scared about having no money and no job and being totally at odds with some of my family and friends?”
“What can you do to stop being run by your fears?” He asked.
“I know I can calm myself by breathing,” I replied. “I breathe in ‘peace’ and breathe out ‘fear’ or ‘anger.’”
“That’s the best way to start,” He said. “Breathing is the fastest way to change your emotions.”
“I exercise and I meditate too,” I continued.
“Good for you,” He responded, “You need to take care of yourself… Is there anything else you do?
“I pray,” I answered. “I put God and love where I experience fear and anger.”
“How can God help?” He asked. “He doesn’t have any battalions.”
“Who are You to tell me that?” I asked. “Are You saying that You are powerless?”
“I’m just having some fun with you,” He responded. “I know you understand that life is too important to be taken too seriously.”
“You are right,” I agreed, “and sometimes I do take life too seriously, only to feel angry and disappointed when I’m disillusioned.” I paused. “God does have battalions,” I continued. “They are armed with love and mercy rather than with guns.”
“That is fortunate,” He responded. “Those who live by the sword usually die by the sword. Those who live through God’s love and mercy do not die. Their influence goes on forever.”
“I think you are telling me that he who has peace in his heart will not take up arms against his brother?” I asked.
“Yes,” He said, “that is what I am telling you. The peacemaker will focus on what he can do to help himself, his family, and his neighbor. He will help in whatever way he can.”
“Are you telling me that this current crisis is a time when we need to help one another?”
“Yes,” He replied. “Right now it is imperative that you pull together. Families need to help one another. Communities need to come together.”
“Like what kind of communities?” I asked.
“Religious communities,” He answered. “What have you gained if you worship but you don’t have a community? Or if you have a community but you fail to help one another?”
“I never knew that You expected us to be so involved with each other,” I said. “I thought it was enough to go to church on Sundays and to remember to say my prayers.”
“That’s just the start of it,” He said. “You may not realize it, but I have no hands but your hands. I have no feet but your feet. I have no voice but your voice. It is up to you to express Me in the world. You are my ambassador.”
“Is what you’re telling me that in these hard times I need to get more involved in my community, more involved with others, to help them and be helped by them? I inquired.
“You got it,” He said. “I am telling you that you are my child and you are my ambassador. It is up to you to express my caring and love in the world.”
“Wow,” I responded. “I never thought of it like that.”
“You manifest my existence,” He said. “You show my face to your family and to your neighbors. Through you and your actions your family and neighbors will know Me.”
“Now I get it,” I said. “Families often have conflicts within themselves and need help to come together. You want us to help.”
“Yes,” He responded, “churches and temples help families connect within themselves and with other families. Together they build a community.”
“It is my mistake,” I said, “to have put government in the place of God and entrusted my future to the politicians. In wanting our votes the politicians have promised me and everyone too much and put our nation deep into debt trying to provide it. As a consequence our country is bankrupt financially and spiritually.”
“You are speaking truth,” He responded. “You must return to the truths you know. To prosper you must live within your means. You will reap what you sow. You are right that Caesar is not God, nor is the government.”
“I lost my way when I ignored my spirituality” I replied. “I became too involved with what the government does and paid too little attention to what I do. It took this financial crisis to awaken me, to take me back to my roots and my soul.”
“For years it has been known,” He concluded, “that where there is no vision the people will perish (Proverbs 29).”
I followed my roots and my soul. I found His vision for me through spirit, often called the Holy Spirit.
I participated in my church community, and I shared with others what I’d learned. I joined men in my Bible study group, for example, to provide and serve Christmas dinner to hundreds of people from less fortunate families. As I watched babies, young children, and teenagers come with their parents to have a bountiful Christmas dinner I felt exhilarated. I felt fulfilled. I thought service would be tiring. Instead I learned that service brings joy!
A few good men and women can change the world. We have before and we will again as we devote our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor. When you carry out God’s word who knows what your next job might be?