Friday, March 7, 2014

A status change

They call it a "furlough". 

No, I don't work for the government ... although, if I did, I'd at least have the reassurance that my employer would eventually call me back to work. (Just one more reason why people want to be American civil servants — you really have to be a total screw-up to lose a government job.) 

By "furlough" my employer means a temporary layoff, which could last anywhere from a couple of weeks to six months. If they don't fold their tent. Ain't the public sector wonderful?

Of course, according to the most recent data from the Economic Research Department, Federal Bank of St. Louis, the average length of unemployment is 35.4 weeks, or just over 8 months (Link: http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2, data set UEMPMEAN.) So it could be a while.



I remember, when I was a young man, it would take me a full day of riding the bus or driving around town in my best suit to put in three applications. Today I can slam out copies of my résumé to six employers while I'm still in my jammies and enjoying my first cup of coffee.

It also means I'm free not only to post more installments on both The Impractical Catholic and The Other Blog (as well as maintain my commitments to Catholic Stand and New Evangelists) but to take on other writing opportunities, as well as speaking engagements around the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. To those ends, I'm creating a new stand-alone page with my contact information on both blogs.

If there's anything I've learned in fifty years on this earth, it's that we have no real control over much of what happens to us. You make the best choices you can, and you think for the future as much as possible; and yet, this night your soul may be required of you (cf. Luke 12:16-21). Tomorrow is only a promise, the fulfillment of which we are ever in danger of taking for granted. Since today is the only day we really have, it is the only chance we have to make our lives meaningful, the only chance we have to be the best persons we can be.

"Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you shall eat or what you shall drink, nor about your body, what you shall put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add one cubit to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin; yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O men of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, `What shall we eat?' or `What shall we drink?' or `What shall we wear?' For the Gentiles seek all these things; and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well.
"Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Let the day's own trouble be sufficient for the day" (Matthew 6:25-34).