I am going to out myself (as if you haven’t already surmised this from past blogs). I am not a young adult. I am a poser- an old adult hanging around people 25 years younger than me, thoroughly enjoying it and sometimes wondering why. A plausible explanation is that I am immature and suffer from Peter Pan syndrome! Justin tells me I am more postmodern than some in their 20s (not sure if that’s a compliment or not). Regardless I have been around the block a few times and if that doesn’t give you wisdom it at least gives you experience. Experience I have.
Which is helpful. Experience, I mean, especially in times of stress or uncertainty … like now. It seems as if we are in a global economic crisis. Today’s bad news is followed by tomorrow’s worse news. Banks, businesses, individuals, automobile manufacturers want bailed out. 401Ks are down a third or more. Jobs are scarce, dollars few. Last week the non-profit I worked for sent around a letter saying that there will be no Christmas bonuses for employees this year, followed by a letter this week pleading for employees to donate money to the agency. Election elation seems to have been tempered by the reality of the state of the economy. There is serious tension everywhere.
Let me offer this word of advice that my father shared with me and that I hope will bring some measure of comfort. This too shall pass. Simple but profound and true: this too shall pass. In my numerous decades I have experienced busts and booms, repeatedly. I have seen prime interest rates as high as 21.5% and as low as 4%. I have seen homes sell so fast that there were lines in driveways of prospective buyers and I have sold a home, during tough economic times, at a $20,000 loss, thanking God I didn’t have to pay the bank to get out. My current home has been on the market for over 2 years. I lived through Jimmy Carter and double digit inflation in the 70’s, the Texas oil crisis in the 80s, the technology crash in New England in the early 90’s, the dot com rise and fall this century and most recently watched as the bottom fell out of the sub-prime mortgage industry. In between those were times of unprecedented prosperity.
I have watched good economic times come and go and I can say with a fair measure of certainty- they will continue to come and go. I am not trying to downplay the seriousness of the financial crisis by being a Pollyanna. Nor am I trying to be a Debby Downer suggesting we should eat, drink and be merry because tomorrow we may die. I’m just saying- wait and see if it doesn’t pass. And then come back again. Which is why it is so important to not attach your worth or self-esteem to your bank account or stock portfolio or material possessions or even your job. All those things you can lose in a day. Ask those who lived through the tornadoes and floods in
It is important to be fiscally responsible, to live within your means and not take on debt if at all possible. It is equally important to guard your heart and not let the current state of the economy, whether it be good or bad, determine your happiness. Jesus says we are in this world but not of it and for that we should be of good cheer. We do not have to be slaves to today’s economic woes, worldly frets, doomsday predictions and dire news. We can live simply and joy in Him, thankful for His provisions today and trusting in His care for us tomorrow. Seriously that is not only doable it is the only way to live.
And that, my friends, is my 2 cents worth that you can take to the bank (do I hear a collective groan?)- a bit of experience and perspective (that is hopefully not completely devoid of wisdom) from this young/old adult who loves, loves, loves Jesus and loves, loves, loves Immersion. Be of good cheer. Jesus is here. To stay.