My dear husband is doing what a lot of people are doing these days. He’s praying he doesn’t lose his job. Over the past several weeks, he has watched many of his dear friends and colleagues become victims of a poor economy. Our hearts break for them, even as we pray it doesn’t happen to our family.
Believe it or not, though, there are some good things about getting laid off. Sure, they may take a little while to notice. When faced with mountains of bills and no money to pay them, our first response will nearly always be panic. But after we take a few moments to breathe into a paper bag or scream at an empty room or worse, we may just find a few things to be thankful for:
1. These days, everyone is getting laid off. We can find camaraderie with people from all walks of life – doctors, lawyers and Indian chiefs find common ground. It’s like an exclusive club.
2. When we get laid off, we get to be cheap, and no one thinks any less of us. We can buy discount gifts, clip coupons, and take advantage of the Kids Eat Free nights at restaurants. Everyone will think we are thrifty and wise.
3. We don’t have to go to work for a while! Many people have been trudging along at a job they hate, just so they can pay the bills. A lay-off gives a perfect opportunity to pursue that dream job. Why not? What have we got to lose?
4. We get to tap into our creative sides. Instead of going to the movies, try filming a home movie. Instead of going out to eat, try to cook like Emeril or Paula Deen.
5. We’ll have time to pursue that hobby we’ve secretly wanted to pursue. Write a novel. Paint a mural. Set a new weight-lifting record. Go on. You know you wanna.
6. Quite possibly for the first time in a long time, we’ll be forced to focus on relationships, not stuff. And that’s always a good thing. Go to the park with your honey. Fly a kite with your kids. Take time to sip tea with your grandma.
7. Our money will stretch further than it did before. When we have plenty of money, we tend to toss it around on any old thing that catches our eyes. When we have less money, we become pickier about what we buy. We tend to look for more bang for our bucks, and spend our money on things that will last.
8. We are forced to examine ourselves. Without jobs and extra money, we learn to define ourselves by our character, instead of by our titles and the size of our bank accounts. Good character is more valuable than silver and gold, and will take us a lot further in life.
9. We get to become better people. Let’s face it. A little competition is always a good thing. Rather than settling for mediocrity, the fierce job market forces us to hone our skills. We must learn to offer the best products and the most prompt, reliable service. We must have the best people skills. We are required to speak better, dress better, and be more pleasant. And those are all good things.
10. We become more grateful. Despite how grim things may seem, most of us still have more than many in this world. Most of us have clothes to wear and food to eat. We live in a country that allows us to speak freely, that holds compassion as a high ideal, and that always tries to take care of its own. And we have a God who loves us and who will never forsake us. That’s a lot to be thankful for.
Getting laid off might seem like the pits. But if you look hard enough, you may find a few cherries in the bowl.
Romans 8:28 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”