Tuesday’s 2018 midterm election is followed by a grim morning for hundreds of congressional aides. They work on the personal staffs of losing Democrat and Republican senators and representatives and, on the House side, on the outgoing Republican majority’s committee staffs.
Come the first week of January when the new Congress is seated, with Republicans in the majority in the Senate and Democrats controlling the House of Representatives, these aides will be out of work. It’s part of the rhythm of Congress as every two years, the seats of one-third of the senators and all 435 representatives are open. Many are re-elected, more than a few are not.
Having been there and done that myself both earlier in my career and more recently in the journalism world, I know the churn of emotion going through the minds of the mostly young and early middle-age men and women facing the reality that they’ve now got to figure out their next career move.
“Having been there and done that myself both earlier in my career and more recently in the journalism world, I know the churn of emotion going through the minds of the mostly young and early middle-age men and women facing the reality that they’ve now got to figure out their next career move.
Some will be picked up by newly-elected senators and representatives, others will replace staffers who were departing regardless of the election results, and, come January, still others will find themselves not knowing where they are headed. It’s a time of great insecurity and worry.
Jesus had a lot to say about insecurity and worry. Most Americans, be they Christians or of another faith or no faith at all, are familiar with this passage (Matthew 6:25-34) from His Sermon on the Mount:
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?
26 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?
27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?[a]28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
30 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 you of little faith?31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’
32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. 34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”
Don’t be anxious. Easier said than done when the rent and car payment are due and the paychecks aren’t coming in as they were, right? Trust me, I know, I know. Boy, do I know.
But did you notice the first word of the passage is “therefore?” All that comes after that word depends on what came just before it: 24 “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”
“Don’t be anxious. Easier said than done when the rent and car payment are due and the paychecks aren’t coming in as they were, right? Trust me, I know, I know. Boy, do I know.
Jesus is not saying you can only be a priest or a banker. His point is what is the purpose of your life? Why do you get up in the morning? Dedicate your life to career gain, or financial security, or political power, and you may succeed at them, spectacularly even, but, trust me, sooner or later, every one of those goals will let you down. Why? Because in the final analysis, the way of the world is this: What have you done for me today?
The Lord put each one of us here for a purpose. Odds are pretty good that knowing that purpose and seeking to fulfill it is the ultimate key to being happy and successful. That’s something I know a little bit about and would love to share it with anybody who asks. Click on the Contact link above and we can set something up. Could be the most important — and free! — cup of java you ever drink.
Mark Tapscott is HillFaith’s editor, IT jockey, spiritual guide, chief bottle washer and overall Jack-of-All-Trades. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org