Job loss: We take so much for granted
We take so much for granted in this life, even when we plan for tomorrow. Of course, we think that tomorrow will arrive just the same as today did, and we expect that our plans will evolve as we planned, and we go about our daily lives not expecting ‘the unexpected’. To take something for granted is to assume we will never lose it. Have you ever noticed how important your right hand is, for example? Probably not….unless you lose the use of it. I look at my hair now and marvel at the fact that when I was younger it was so thick and ‘full of life’!
We take most things and people for granted: our loved ones, our homes, our jobs. Whenever I use water or drink water, I think of people around the world who have to use rivers, dirty canals and other not-so-hygienic methods to obtain water. Ironically, as I write this article, thousands of people are caught off guard by the amount of water that fell on Grand Cayman on 21 May. I dare say that many people have lost their means of transportation this past week and some had to relocate to shelters. Losing something highlights the importance of that aspect of our lives.
And then, we take God for granted so many times. I recently heard one of the world’s top leaders address a group of people who had endured so much tragedy and yet accomplished so much since that time. In the speech, the people were being congratulated for their accomplishments and then told that they had passed through this difficult time because of where they were from! Whether we want to acknowledge it or not, we endure hardships only with the strength that God gives us, and not because we are from a particular country or race or culture.
Denise Jackson, wife of famous country singer Alan Jackson, wrote along with Ellen Vaughn, a book entitled ‘It’s all about Him’. Denise and Alan’s life seemed like a fairy tale — high school sweethearts who married young and left a small town to pursue big dreams in Music City. They paid their dues, worked hard, weathered deep disappointments and fulfilled their dreams. They enjoyed stardom and multi-platinum albums. But fame, wealth, a palatial estate, vacation homes, a fleet of airplanes, luxury cars, designer clothes, world-class jewelry could not keep their marriage together. The back cover of the book reads, “You don’t have to be rich and famous to go through struggles like these. Sooner or later, we all come to the point when we realise that real joy and peace isn’t just around the corner of the next achievement, the next relationship, or the next new thing.” Only with God in their lives could their marriage be restored. Indeed, I have heard many personal stories of how alcohol and drugs ruined everything for many people. One such person was earning close to half million dollars per annum and lost everything to alcohol and drugs. We take most things or people in our lives for granted, we think we will live forever and we think ‘it can’t happen to us’.
Way back in 1998, J. Davis declared that job security is a thing of the past, and someone probably said it long before him! Davis noted that people lose their jobs because of companies downsizing or cultural upheavals whereas in the past, job loss would occur because a person was not performing their duties adequately. If we are not performing our jobs properly, or we have engaged in wrongdoing or illegal activities while on the job, we can expect that sooner or later we will be dismissed. For so long now, millions of people around the world have been losing their jobs unexpectedly, and many do not know how to cope or where to turn to when they do. When we have a job, sometimes we take it for granted and never give a second thought that the next day we may be unemployed. Sometimes we complain about this or that, and we forget to give God thanks. Giving God thanks and believing that He is in complete control of our lives will free us from the hurts, disappointments and discouragements that come our way as we pass through this world of materialism, power and greed. Today, as we look around, we acknowledge that our island and our workplaces are not the same as they used to be. We used to care for each other, but development came with a price…and we took it all for granted that we would not lose what we had. Today I want to encourage you not to take God for granted. God bless you.