My sister called me the other day right after Congress failed to pass a bill to bail out Wall Street. She asked me what to do. I told her to call her financial planner to seek their expertise. I also told her not to panic, to stay the course in what she is doing for her budget and savings plan, to take a deep breath, and to keep talking to family and friends to help her manage through this economic anxiety. Our conversation continued, and we also talked about the fact that we can only control so much in our life, that we do the best we can to live in this world and to take care of our families. The rest we have to let go and to trust.
My parents lived through the Great Depression and what they taught me and my family is that hard times happen in life and things happen beyond our control. They also taught us that when those hard times come, it is important to keep working hard, to keep doing your best, and to lean in to one another, to look out for each other and to care for one other as family, friends, community, and neighbors. They taught us not to panic, to keep a level-head, to do our best to live responsibly with integrity and most importantly, to live a life of prayer always and at all times which will help you keep a perspective especially during the difficult segments in life. They modeled for us that living a spiritual life, a life of prayer and seeking the ways of God, will strengthen you and give you hope.
Yes, these are incredibly bleak times for our nation. The current economic and financial meltdown affects every aspect of the way we live in our culture, and it increases our levels of stress, worry, anxiety, and fear almost to the edge of panic at times.
So when those waves of stress and anxiety wash over you, take a deep breath. Better yet, take a lot of deep breaths. And pray for a perspective to keep a level-head. Let us do our best to live responsibly and with integrity. And let us lean in to one another a little more to support each other along the way. We are all in this together no matter what our economic status or class.
This day, may you breathe in the perspective and peace of the Spirit. Courage!