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Saturday, January 7, 2012

Recovery Begins With the Individual

I was listening to one of my favorite radio shows the other evening, Dave Ramsey, who teaches people how to manage their money, and he said something that I had never before considered.

It was an 'epiphany' of sorts. A light went on in my head, and his statement resonated with something deep within me, telling me that what this man was saying represents ultimate truth.

Let me explain.

We all know how tough the economy has been on so many people. Many of us have suffered indescribable difficulties as a result of the collapse of 2008. For me, I was selling real estate at the time, and as you all know the real estate market was hit first. My income suddenly plummeted to ZERO. I lost just about everything, including my home.

I had to scramble to address the dire circumstances. In doing so I was forced to work 3 jobs, which I continue to do today. Even so, I have trouble making ends meet. I don't make much money from any of the endeavors I have begun.

Complicating the issue is the health problem I developed 3 years ago. Or I should say health problemS--plural. First, I began having severe eyesight problems due to an underlying inflammatory condition I didn't even know I had. Then, that inflammatory condition made itself known in a major way, which has definitely effected my ability to do certain things.

I cannot, for example, work a job that requires being on my feet for hours on end every day, five days a week. Manual labor is impossible now.

Thus, my choices when it comes to employment are limited by the circumstances.

Yet, hope springs eternal, and I keep pressing on praying and hoping that one or more of my 3 endeavors will take off and fly, enabling me to make a decent living.

And this brings us back to Dave Ramsey's statement.

He was speaking about the economy and the difficulty the nation has experienced in sustaining a recovery. He stated that in the final analysis, however, what the country is experiencing is not the issue. The issue is ME. The issue is YOU. The individual. Economic recovery begins with the individual.

What kind of initiative are you taking to address whatever financial difficulty you may be having?

I did not wait for the economy to improve. I direct music part time for a church. I started writing for a living--a meager living at best, but I still make a little money. And I started this ministry. Admittedly this ministry has made no money whatsoever in the 9 months it has been in operation. Everything has gone toward expenses. But I keep pressing on with the hope that things will change just around the corner. What else can I do? 

Ramsey suggested that now is a good time for persons to look into starting a business--one that has very low start-up costs and can be operated on a shoestring budget.

Risky? You bet it is! But it is better than sitting at home twiddling our thumbs in anxiety and despair wondering what we're going to do. Getting active in your own endeavor is a good way to avoid despair when the job market has dried up.

Jesus said, "By faith you can say to this mountain, be removed and be cast into the sea, and it will be done."

Those mountains he talked about are not the physical mountains such as Everest, or Shasta, or Hood, or McKinley. The mountains Jesus had in mind are those large obstacles that stand in our way, preventing us from moving forward.

My economic recovery began the moment I decided to work 3 jobs, even if the pay is dismal. Your economic recovery will begin the moment you look at that mountain and say, BE GONE!, and then launch into something, anything, that you can do to keep yourself afloat financially.

One famous preacher used to say, "If it is to be, it is up to me."

I have one I like much better. "God plus the individual is always a majority." If God is for us, who can be against us? Together, you and God, can overcome obstacles. So get moving!

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