December 19, 2008

The Auto Bailout: The Comfort of Certainty?

Today, an announcement from the White House gave some relief to those wondering about the future of the domestic auto industry. But did the announcement bring the comfort of certainty? What will happen in the spring? Will the companies succeed in re-creating themselves? Is the bail-out just a time-buyer, allowing workers, small businesses, managers, and others to get used to the idea that their jobs and incomes may go away forever? Even if you don't live in the industrial midwest (aka the "rustbelt"), know for sure that if tens of thousands of jobs are lost in domestic manufacturing, you will feel a pinch and maybe a lot of pain down the road.

Only in God can I find the comfort of certainty. To be honest, change is scary. No matter how many times some wise old soul tries to tell me to embrace change and "see possibility and opportunity", I tell myself about all of the possibilities and opportunities I saw in having a regular paycheck, health care benefits, and a week or two of paid vacation each year. Maybe I'm not motivated to go in the direction of uncertain income, filling out unemployment forms, and standing in lines to seek possibility and opportunity. The old ways suit me just fine, thank you!

Still, the changes are being forced upon us and somehow in all of this, we want some sense that everything will work out before we reach the end of our patience and our resources. Even though I criticized it, I understand why some wanted to go to church and see those SUVs in the pulpit and have someone tell them everything will be alright. If you look around long enough, you will find a lot to worry about.

I love Jesus' response to all of this:

"So do not worry, saying 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." --Matthew 6:31-33.

So, what am I running after? I will seek "his": purpose, direction, ways, kingdom, etc. I am going to spend my time and energy seeking and becoming more like Him in this time of uncertainty and rely upon His promise to give me the other things I need, the other things that perhaps I couldn't find and keep on my own anyway. Wouldn't it be wonderful to have the Father just give me the things I need without all of the angst and agony of worrying about where it will all come from and how it will all get here, will it get here in time, and how will I hold onto it?

In the meantime, I can seek His purpose and ways for my life. I can be a person of honesty and integrity during uncertain times. I can live with hope while waiting to receive what He has for me. I can know He's never late, not even by a minute. That is the comfort of certainty.

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