The Covington News - - News -

Lately I have had this sink­ing feel­ing. It comes ev­ery night at 7 p.m. when I lis­ten to the na­tional news — un­em­ploy­ment is up, the stock mar­ket is down, and I sur­mise that my re­tire­ment ac­count has shrunk, again. It feels like I’m on a boat out in deep wa­ter, miles from the shore, a storm has come up, the waves are break­ing over the bow, and the boat is start­ing to sink. Any of you feel this way too? Friends, de­spite all ev­i­dence to the con­trary, we are go­ing to be OK. We may, in fact, ac­tu­ally grow stronger as a re­sult of this eco­nomic down­turn. Ezekiel wrote, “Fire burns away dross.” The stock mar­ket de­cline is a good re­minder that true se­cu­rity is not found in a fat 401K. A re­tire­ment ac­count can be­come a false god. Here are three strate­gies for con­tin­ued con­fi­dence even in an eco­nomic down­turn. First, keep work­ing. I have a 71-year-old friend who still works full time as a nurse at an At­lanta hospi­tal. Af­ter work she of­ten goes over to Stone Moun­tain Park, where she is train­ing for the Thanks­giv­ing Day Half Marathon. Her com­ment on her 70th birth­day: “I’m in an eas­ier age bracket now; I should be able to medal.” We were talk­ing about 401Ks and the econ­omy, when she said, “I’m thank­ful to have a job.” She al­ready has a medal in my book. The Fourth Com­mand­ment says to “Re­mem­ber the Sab­bath.” The em­pha­sis has al­ways been on keep­ing a day of rest, but this com­mand could just as eas­ily been be seen as a com­mand to be pro­duc­tive the six other days each week. King Solomon wrote many proverbs on the ben­e­fits of work: “The slug­gard does not plow af­ter the au­tumn, so he begs dur­ing the har­vest and has noth­ing. He who tills his land will have plenty of food. Do you see a man skilled in his work? He will stand be­fore kings.” (Proverbs 20:4, 28:19, 22:29) The Bi­ble teaches that work is a bless­ing, and those who do work well will be blessed. Wor­ried about the econ­omy? Keep work­ing. Sec­ond, there is strength in com­mu­nity. Re­mem­ber the NBC sit­com that starred Beatrice Arthur, Betty White, Rue McClana­han and Estelle Getty? The show was called Golden Girls. It was about four se­nior cit­i­zens who shared a home in Mi­ami. Rent was eas­ier, food costs eas­ier, and of course, it was eas­ier to get up a card game. Pride di­vides, but hu­mil­ity brings peo­ple to­gether. Many sin­gle re­tirees would ben­e­fit from the Golden Girls ap­proach. There is strength in com­mu­nity. The church needs to be a place where peo­ple can con­nect, where net­work­ing hap­pens, and where help can be found. “Though one might pre­vail against an­other, two will with­stand one, and a three­fold cord is not quickly bro­ken” (Ec­cle­si­astes 4:12). Wor­ried about the econ­omy? Team up. Third, re­mem­ber, God is real. And God has not for­got­ten you. Je­sus said, “Do not worry then, say­ing, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for cloth­ing?’ For your heav­enly Fa­ther knows that you need all th­ese things. But seek first his king­dom and his right­eous­ness, and all th­ese things will be added to you. So do not worry about to­mor­row; for to­mor­row will care for it­self. Each day has enough trou­ble of its own.” We may be in a boat, sink­ing in the sea, but we are not alone. Je­sus is sleep­ing in the stern. As we call out, Je­sus rises, calms the storm, and asks, “Where is your faith?” Je­sus is with us still. Are you wor­ried about the econ­omy? Don’t be. In­stead, af­firm with David, “The Lord is my shep­herd, I shall not want,” (Psalm 23:1). But let’s be real. The Shep­herd’s mes­sage to the sheep may be, “Go to back to work,” and, “By the way, car­pool.”

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