Journey of Unemployment – Keep Working

I know the title seems a bit of a contradiction. If I am unemployed, how can I keep working? One of the things most of us think work is the activity we get paid for. In fact, the dictionary definition of work is:

Work – wərk (noun)

1. activity involving mental or physical effort done in order to achieve a purpose or result.

2. mental or physical activity as a means of earning income; employment.

So we think of employment as synonymous as work. The truth is they are not the same thing. While employment requires work, work does not require employment. While most of us look at definition #2 above, when one is ‘unemployed’ we need to look at definition #1. This is not meant to demean the need for money. We all know we need money to live. But the key is to put on a new mindset.

I found I went through a series of stages when considering what work was and how I viewed it. I know it is not the same for everyone and it will be different depending on how long someone is without earning an income. So this is my journey.

Stage 1: My job is finding a job

I put myself into job finding mode as soon as the shock of loosing my job set it. It made me feel  productive. Everyday, I tried to establish a routine where every day I would search for new job openings on the web. I would then look on LinkedIn to see who I knew in the recruiting business. I would reach out and began to build my network in my new city. Each week, I would go on 2-3 coffee/lunch meetings trying to expand my network.

In the first couple of months, I must have met 20-30 people. I also spent time at unemployed networking events. Anywhere I could meet new people who could network me. The key in finding a job is to establish a broad and diverse network who will think of you when they hear about a job. I then would circle back with everyone I had met and continued to look. Until…

Stage 2: I will take something in the interim

I finally realized just looking for a job was draining and driving me crazy. It felt like I was in a drive across west Texas. For those of you who are not familiar with west Texas, it is flat and the road is straight. The same scenery for about eight hours. After a couple of months it felt like I was in a perpetual drive across the barren, unchanging landscape.

So I agreed to help out a start up. It was new and exciting. It was like seeing a snow covered mountain after the eight hours of monotony. I started out helping about ten hours a week. As the company evolved, I spent more time helping out. After a couple of months, I realized I had set my mind on something else and I stopped networking. My job search slowed down and this new activity took away from my primary focus. Find a job that will pay the bills. You see, the interim role was part time and did not pay very well. But it was nice to feel wanted.

Stage 3: Ask God what I should work on

There came a point I had to decide if I would go full time with the start up (at a extremely low salary) or step back and re-evaluate my time. I put it to God and was told to refocus my efforts. God told me I should keep a focus on finding a job, but He also wanted me to write. So now, I see my job as writing a blog and a book. Since I can manage my own time, I will do my job search in the morning and then spend time writing.

So while I am not employed, I am working. I am working on becoming better and learning a new skill. I have a long way to go, but I am finding contentment in having goals and destinations that are varied. I can choose to blog one day and write a chapter of a book another and edit my manuscript the next day.

I look forward to the day I will go back to being employed and getting paid for the work I do. However, in the meantime, I am enjoying working on something I enjoy. I guess it is a great life lesson which Solomon understood in Ecclesiastes 8:15.

 “So I commend the enjoyment of life, because there is nothing better for a person under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad. Then joy will accompany them in their toil all the days of the life God has given them under the sun.”

Would love your thoughts.

Journey of Unemployment – Identity Crisis

The first couple of days after loosing my job were a blur. How do I function without my work? What do I tell people when I am asked about my profession? It felt like my identity had been ripped from me. Too many of us tie our identity to our job, our company or our title. Think about your answer when you are asked, “What do you do?” I would bet 99% of us answer with something like:

“I am a project manager”

“I am in the high tech industry”

“I am in retail”

“I am a Manager at XYZ company”

“I sell ABC”

Our normal answer ties our identity to something that is finite. A company, a job, a title all will go away. My whole life I pushed to get a Vice President title. I tied my identity to the title. In an instant it went away. What comfort did the title give me? What is my identity without that title? This is where God entered and said my identity needs to be in Him.

Luke 6:35-36  tells us, “I tell you, love your enemies. Help and give without expecting a return. You’ll never—I promise—regret it. Live out this God-created identity the way our Father lives toward us, generously and graciously, even when we’re at our worst. Our Father is kind; you be kind.”

In Japan, the identity of individuals is with the company first, then the title and last the persons name. It always seemed backwards. When you meet someone, you expect to find out their name. Instead, they let you know what company they work for. The loyalty is nice, but it completely takes the identity away from the person and puts it to the company. Why can’t Christians use the same model and switch their identity around. I wonder what would happen if we really shifted our identity to being a son or daughter of God. When asked what we do, what if we answered with something like:

“I am a child of God who works at XYZ company”

“I am a co-heir to the kingdom of God and I sell ABC”

“I am a follower of Jesus and I manage projects on the side”

Pretty radical I know. What do you think? I would love your thoughts.

Journey of Unemployment -Rejection

re·jec·tion – rəˈjekSH(ə)n / noun: the spurning of a person’s affections.

We have all dealt with rejection. Some have known rejection from an early age, whereas most of us have faced it in our teenage years. Whenever rejection hits, it has significant impact to our emotional health. Rejections main target is our confidence. It makes us make statements that are not true. The enemy will use rejection to open a wound in our ego, heart or soul. We may have a wound if you have ever used any of the following statements.

“I am not pretty or good looking.”

“I am not wanted.”

“I don’t have what it takes.”

“I am not enough for him/her.”

“I am not any good.”

“I am not loved.”

“They won’t like me.”

“No one will hire me.”

Anytime we see ourselves as failures, we reject our creator. Not only do we begin rejecting ourselves, we reject the one who made us. Instead, God loved us so much He sent His Son to die for us. He wants us to be son’s and daughter’s. He wants us to receive His love and look to Him for comfort and strength. We should not look to man or woman to find our identity.

I have lost count of the number of interviews I have had and the number of applications I have submitted. I don’t know how many people I have talked with or had some form of networking connection. I lost count after 70 coffee/lunches. I lost count after 40 interviews. I didn’t even try to count the number of applications I submitted, but it must be over 100 now. If I focused on how many jobs I didn’t get, I could easily fall into a state of despair and rejection.

I don’t look at it as how many jobs I have been rejected from. I look at is as all the people I got to meet and all of the companies God didn’t want me to work for. I am not being rejected by people. I am being loved by God and in His mercy is saving the perfect job for me. The job He wants me to have. The God ordained job that will be His best. It is a matter of perspective. If you are frustrated and negative, that will come through. If you are up beat, optimistic and positive, people will see that as well. I love Matthew 5:48 in the Message where Jesus tells us to “Live out your God-created identity.”

Matthew 5:48 “In a word, what I’m saying is, Grow up. You’re kingdom subjects. Now live like it. Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you.”

God wants us to look to Him to be our identity. Just because man rejects us, God will not. When we put our faith in Him and make Him our Lord, He will not let us down. Man will let us down, but Jesus will never.

We should look to Him for our identity. Instead of thinking in any of the ways above, we should see ourselves through Jesus’s eyes. He sees us as a wonderful work of art, created in His image. He sees us with talents and skills. He sees us as likable and lovable. He sees us as enough for anyone else and in any situation.  Don’t let the enemy lie to you. You are a loved child of the God of the universe. You matter, I matter, we all matter to Him.

May you see through the eyes of love, through the eyes of Jesus and believe what He thinks of you. He really does think each one of us is special and is really glad we are alive. Thank Him today for giving us our identity and not rejecting us.

Journey of Unemployment – 10 Lessons From My Reflection

Shame. Disbelief. Shock. Anger.

All of these are words that most share when asked about their time being unemployed. There is a stigma around being unemployed. The enemy loves replaying the phrases that everyone must be saying.

“You were not a good employee. That is why they fired you.”

“You are no good. You don’t really have any skills.”

“You are worthless. No-one is going to hire you.”

“They are looking down on you since you don’t have a job.”

“What did he do to loose his job? I bet there is a good story around it.”

It is all too easy to let the enemy seep into our thoughts, that is why we are told to put on the helmet of salvation and to take on the mind of Christ. If we choose to believe the lies about us, we are being disobedient to God. He tells us we are His treasured possessions. We are a Royal Priesthood and His children.

While it is important not to be self-reflective when you are in the heat of the battle, there comes a time when we need to look in the mirror and learn from what happened. That is what I did so I can learn the lessons I need to learn. Reading James 1:2-4 gave me some insight as to why it is important to understand how we are being made perfect in Christ.

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

We will face trials. Make no mistake, being unemployed is a trial of faith, obedience and reliance on Jesus. We are to persevere through the trial and it will continue until we learn what we need to learn. We will be made mature as we listen and look to Jesus to show us what we need to do to improve. We are being transformed into the image of Christ and one way to get a step closer is through trials.

What were my lessons? What did Holy Spirit show me to work on?

  1. He showed me that I should work to support ministry, not work to support myself and my career.
  2. He showed me I need to wait on Him to tell me to go. Not go until he says stop.
  3. I need to rely on Him for everything. He will provide for my needs and the needs of my family because He love me.
  4. Hubris will catch up to you. I needed to shed off the spirit of arrogance and put on the clock of humility.
  5. I need to let Him do it, I don’t need to. He will bring the recruiters, He will open the doors, He will show me where He wants me to go.
  6. Just because something looks good, does not mean it is from God. I am learning to look for God’s best, not just good. The tree in the garden looked good, but it was not God’s best.
  7. Live on less and give more. Tithe to the church. Even without an income, giving the first fruits of any income I do receive has opened a door to getting out of debt.
  8. Look at today, don’t look at yesterday. We will never move forward if we keep looking behind us. God will forgive any mistakes and only wants good for us.
  9. Give God control of EVERYTHING…when He is in control good things will happen. It may not always make sense, but our testimony will be made strong.
  10. Use the time wisely. I see this time as a gift. I am spending more time with God, in worship, prayer and the bible. I am also spending the time with family and friends. I am getting to write a whole lot more. This blog is an example.

So enjoy it. Morning will come and the night will end. When we are made mature and complete, our trails will end, a new season will begin. We will then see the fruit of our time in the desert.

Journey of Unemployment – The Rabbit Trail

God wants us to work. It is spoken throughout the bible. So anyone who is out of work and unemployed has a desire to do something fulfilling. That desire to be wanted can drive the wrong decisions. When a company wants you, it feels good. Especially if you are dealing with the shame of being let go. That desire can override a rational thought process. Feeling wanted can have positive and negative impacts in many parts of our life.

In my case, I had been searching for about four months. I was doing everything needed to find the next opportunity. I was networking with everyone I knew. Every coffee, lunch or breakfast would yield new names to connect with and meet. It was a great time of expanding my network and meeting a ton of new people. I was scouring every recruiting site and making sure my resume was up to date everywhere. I attended “focus” groups to meet with other unemployed folks and network there. I was busy. Of course, I was also interviewing during this time. It seemed like I was engaging with a new opportunity every couple of weeks.

Then everything dried up as the heart of summer hit. I was the bridesmaid on a couple of great jobs, but that didn’t get me down. Then I met a person who was starting up a new company. They were doing some cool things and asked if I wanted to tag along. In my attempt to continue to build my network, I lent my knowledge on a particular activity. We build a relationship and he then asked me if I wanted to work with him for 10-15 hours a week. The hourly pay was a fraction of what a going rate would be, but it held the promise of getting in on the ground floor of a start up.

I jumped in, especially since the HR jobs market had cooled down. I figured it would keep me busy and active while providing time to spend looking for a job. Oh, and I probably should mention I was trying to finish a book. Well, the part time job grew and before I knew it, I was spending every day working with this company. It was fun and interesting, so I really didn’t mind. Besides, I was getting some money in. Enough to buy groceries. Then, I was asked to join the company full time. It would be a really low monthly rate with the prospect of becoming invested in the company as it grew. It was an enticing offer. So I put it to prayer.

Around this time, God had me reading Ezekiel. On the day I began to pray about signing on full time, I read Ezekiel Chapter 16:32-34. It says, “‘You adulterous wife! You prefer strangers to your own husband! All prostitutes receive gifts, but you give gifts to all your lovers, bribing them to come to you from everywhere for your illicit favors. So in your prostitution you are the opposite of others; no one runs after you for your favors. You are the very opposite, for you give payment and none is given to you.” The verse is God talking to Israel, but these verses went straight to my heart. I was giving myself away to this company. I love how God can gently and lovingly pierce my heart while providing direction. He was telling me not to prostitute myself. I am worth more to Him and to the company He desires me to work for.

After following this rabbit trail, because I was wanted, I finally got the correction I needed. God pulled me back to the right path. I still am in a good relationship with the owner of the company and who knows, maybe I will work there one day. For now, God has me on a different path. I am focused on building my relationship with Jesus, searching for a job and writing. No more rabbit trails for me!

Journey Through Unemployment – The House

About two weeks before I was separated from my company, God impressed on my wife and I to put our house up for sale and downsize. While I was expecting my job to go away at sometime, I figured it would be prudent to downsize. Besides, my son was heading off to college and we would not need as large of a house. We began to prepare the house for sale, contacted a realtor and planned to list the house in three weeks.

Two weeks later, I get the news of losing my job. God knew! The house ended up listing a week later. During the process to prepare the house, my wife was asking God for a fleece to make sure we heard everything correctly. She was given a specific date about the time we were going to  officially put the house on the market. After I was separated from my job, I stared asking God where He wanted me to look for a new job. Having lived all over the world, I had great connections. I did not, however, have a network in the city I live in. So I expected God to sell our house and move us to a new city.

God had other plans. When I was asking God where He wanted me to look, I was given a picture of a horse and heard mustang in my spirit. The only mustang I knew was a local college mascot. When I told my wife, she reminded me the high school was also the mustangs. Two days later a house came up in the same city with the mustang mascot. It was a great house and great location. It was certainly smaller, by about 60%. We had not thought to downsize quite so much. However, we felt it was where God wanted us. So we put in an offer on a Thursday after walking through the house. We found out there were 17 offers on the house by Friday. We also found out we were not the highest offer.

Our agent asked us if we wanted to increase our offer. You see, in this housing market, houses in this price range will sell above asking price and usually in the first weekend. Needless to say, it is an incredibly hot housing market and a sellers dream. We told our agent we were not to go any higher and we will let God fight the battle for us. We had heard horror stories of people loosing three or four houses because of higher offers. We had to trust God in this process. We were trying out best to be obedient to Him and throwing money at a problem is rarely how God works.

The date God had given my wife ended up being that Saturday. We thought maybe it would be the day our current house sold. The owners of the house we had just put an offer on were planning to make a decision by that Sunday. On Saturday night we get a call from our realtor, who was crying. My wife answered the phone and jumped into consolation mode. She let our agent know it was ok and that God would bring us another house, a house that was even better. After a deep breath our realtor told us she was crying because we had been selected. The house was ours!

We had been selected among 17 offers and not even the highest offer. God had orchestrated everything and gave us favor with he sellers. He was so kind to us to get us into a great new house. Now, we just needed to sell our current house. The next day we received an offer, which fell through pretty quickly. Two months later we finally received an offer that was slightly under the price we had paid for the house. During those two months we proceeded to sell and give away over half of our things. We learned that our stuff did not matter. Stuff is not our inheritance. Jesus is our inheritance and it felt good to shed the excess stuff.

When it was all said and done, we only ended up having two houses for about a week and a half. Good made sure everything lined up perfectly. Of course those two months were crazy. We had 51 showing on our current house and it was a blessing I was not working. I could help with the pets and keep the house clean. God knew what was going to be needed. I also had time to prepare the house for the move. Of course, I was interviewing with some great companies during this time. So my days were full.

I look back during those first couple of months fondly. Yes, moving stinks. But God was clearly evident in our lives and I just knew a job was around the corner. Still I wait on the Lord to do His work and open the right door. I am excited about the testimony He gave us as He moved us into a new phase in life.

Does anyone else have a great house story you care to share?

Journey Through Unemployment – The First Day

I mentioned in my Jan 1 blog A New Beginning how, for the first time in my career, I am without a job. It has now been over nine months searching for the right opportunity. It has been a fascinating journey and I feel like I need to share this journey. I am not sure how many blogs this will take or what direction I will write. As I sit down each day, I will see where it takes me.

Today, I want to talk about the weeks leading up to my last day. I had been recruited to this company with the prospect of helping lead a transformation. By nature, I am a bit of a risk taker and love new challenges. So the thought of being able to have a blank sheet of paper to build processes and solutions was exciting. My boss who hired me was someone I had worked for before, so knew we worked extremely well together. For the first six months, it felt like things were rocking. Updating processes, introducing new and innovative ideas and delivering value to the business. It was everything I had hopped it would be. Then things started to change. The atmosphere moved, kind of like a slow moving fog. It was not immediately apparent, however it suddenly was different.

Ten months after I joined, I was called to a meeting with the CEO, expecting my boss to be there. He wasn’t, which was really odd. I was told he had left the company. The shock hit immediately. The fog that had rolled in to cloud the atmosphere all of a sudden became thick as soup. I couldn’t breath. In my innermost being, I knew what that meant. It meant the direction and transformation we were driving would be stopped. The question was when.

I knew there was a lot of disagreement and resistance from long term employees in my boss’s department. That resistance grew daily. The animosity toward those of us brought in to drive the change was palpable. They didn’t even try to hide their disdain after my boss left. The atmosphere became very difficult to work in. The writing on the wall was apparent and they tipped their hand when the big system project I was leading was stopped four days before implementation.

Six weeks after my boss left, at the end of my eleventh month, I was invited into the CEO’s office. Initially thinking it was for a normal 1×1, I just sensed the other shoe would drop. Sure enough. It was a surreal three minute conversation. I was told my services were no longer needed, handed the legal paperwork and told to contact legal if I had any questions. I thanked the CEO for allowing me to work there and went to my office to grab what I could before being escorted out.

While full of emotions, I was not surprised. I could tell where they were heading and I was not in their plans. This was the first time anything like this had happened. I was in the wrong seat at the wrong company trying to make a difference with a group that didn’t really want to change. So like many leadership teams, when the leader leaves, the team gets swept clean as well. It is a reality of business. I had seen it dozens of times. I just had not experienced it myself.

God, in His mercy, gave me the verse 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 to comfort me during this time.

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

From day one, God gave me peace for the journey I was about to begin. The thought that keeps coming to mind is I can only imagine the stress and anxiety someone would have if they did not have a personal and intimate relationship Jesus. The waiting, the rejection, the silence, the stigma and the emotional rollercoaster would be unbearable. I now have sympathy for those who have gone through the unemployment process. The only thing I can say is Jesus is the only thing that helps.

Anyone else experience unemployment? Any word of encouragement that can be shared to those going though it? Tomorrow, I will share how God has shown up during the process.

Healing on Mt. Fuji

It was summertime in Japan, which meant it was hot and humid in Tokyo. Many people left the city on the weekends in search of cooler temperatures. One weekend, my family and I sought the coolness of higher elevation on the breathtakingly beautiful, Mount Fuji. We met friends on the mountain so the older children could climb to the top of Mt. Fuji. The scenery was awe inspiring and a great reminder of the splendor of God’s creation. That night we met up with our friends at the cabin they’d rented. The night air had cooled down and they decided a fire pit was in order to enjoy smores for dessert. The two older boys had volunteered to chop wood for the fire.

The boys grabbed the axe and headed of eagerly to the woodpile. I distinctly remembered looking at my friend and commenting that it may not have been a great idea to allow two fourteen year olds have an axe. A few minutes later the boys returned in a hurry. Instead of carrying a pile of wood, My friend’s son was holding his hand. Sure enough he’d cut open the palm of his hand. Fortunately, it was not a deep wound so wouldn’t require stitches. However, it was deep enough to make a mess and take some time to clean up. The boy was shaken up and in pain from the wound.

I recalled receiving a prompting from God and remembered what Jesus said in Matthew 10:7, “As you go, preach this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven is near.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.” I asked if he could pray for the boys wounded hand. They agreed and I proceeded to pray for healing through the power of Jesus. We all had faith that the wound would heal and thanked Jesus for that healing. They we went out and had smores.

The next morning, my family meet up with our friends and the son ran up to us, excited to share his news. He thrust out his hand and exclaimed, “look!” I looked at his hand, where an open gash had been the previous night, barely a scratch could be seen. Jesus had healed the boys hand overnight.  It was a wonderful miracle and encouraged everyone he told. It was the first time many there had seen a miraculous healing. It opened their eyes to the wonder of God’s love and the power He bestows us through Holy Spirit. That night, everyone learned God gives us the ability to heal with faith and the power of Jesus.

What about you? Any God stories of miracles that you care to share?

Wait Your Turn

Every city has a different way of driving. Just because you know how to drive in one city, does not mean you know how to drive in another. This is most true in large cities. Atlanta driving is different from Dallas driving. Which are both different than L.A. driving or Boston driving. There is, however, one trait that seems to be consistent no matter where you go. (The only exception might be Japan, but we won’t go into that right now.) The trait is an impatience with the other driver.

Whoever gets behind the wheel feels like they should be first. When I was younger, I had a uncontrollable urge to be passing other cars. While I never considered it a selfish notion, I do realize I probably did cut many drivers off. Today, the notion of selfies has permeated every generation when it comes to driving. All drivers are consumed with what is best for them and too many forget they are on the road with thousands of other drivers. Watch how many people cut each other off during the commute to or from work. How many horns get blasted? Watch the animation from the drivers around you. Even the most considerate people like to drive in the fast lane and go below the speed limit. This type of selfish action tends to bring the worst out of people.

In 1994, an Australian singer debuted her first album, God, in the US. It went gold and made Rebecca St. James an overnight star in Christian music. Her first album had a song called You then Me. Just a few of the lyrics are:

It’s my turn, it’s not your turn

It’s my turn, get outta my way

It’s my turn, go on complain

I’m comin’ through anyway

 Don’t ask me why I’m like this

But lately I’m wonderin’ if it’ll come to pass

That the last shall be first and the first shall be last

Then the voice says.

 Here’s the way it oughtta be

You then me then you then me

Well, I pray one day we’ll all agree

And take it you then me then you then me

Life could go you then me then you then me

 It’s easy, you wait then go

It’s easy, so make your move

It’s easy, don’t clown around

Could’ve gone six times by now

But no sir, you gotta be a pain

Or is this your own way of sayin’

We should all cool down

And be more like the man who was born back in Bethlehem town?

What would happen if we actually adopted an attitude that we don’t have to be first? That we don’t have to cut people off. That we really don’t need to be mad at the stupid move another person does behind the wheel. What if we showed them a little bit of Jesus? What would happen if we stopped being selfish during our commutes? What if we began being selfless and showed the love of Christ to our fellow commuters? I bet that kind of kindness would be repaid multiple times throughout the day. Go ahead, try it and see what happens.

How Are You Doing?

Right now, it is difficult to smile. I praise God, as I know He is good. He wants good for me and is not a malicious father. So how to handle the greetings when I am out and about? Usually we have a pleasant greeting where we say something like, “Hi, how are you?” We are not really asking about a person’s well-being, rather we are simply a nice way to start a conversation. I find myself using this greeting with anyone, even a person I am just passing by. A good, “hey, how are you?” and a slight head raise helps to fill the awkward gap between eye contact and walking past the person I will never see again.  Of course, the only possible response is, “good, and you?” Neither of us are really concerned with each other’s mental or physical state. It is the socially acceptable answer in all situations. So today, I am ok with the surface level stuff. But I shouldn’t be. I should care more about others than how I am feeling.

Unfortunately, this dance of pleasantries is the same for strangers and close friends. With the end result of us never really knowing the other person’s condition. In our fast paced, always too much on my plate culture, we do not have time to really stop and find out how the other person is doing. So we look to social media to get that kind of update. Even though we know social media only shows a shadow of the real health of the person. It is the most expedient form of keeping tabs on friends.

I am reminded of a day I that was not great, but had a great outcome because I didn’t let my feelings get in the way. I was in the office one day and for some reason it was super quiet. Most of the employees were on vacation or out of the office. As I took a break to get some coffee, I noticed another person in an otherwise empty floor. I knew the person, but had never really stopped and spoken with them. When I saw them I said the obligatory greeting and they responded with the obligatory response. This day I intentionally asked the question a second time. I said, “really, how are you?” with a stress on the question. Ann was taken back a little bit. When she saw I meant the question, she opened up that she was having some difficulties. I got to know more about her in the few minutes that she shared than I had the previous three years.

Ann’s willingness to open up allowed me the opportunity to pray for her. It turned out she also had a faith and was so encouraged to have a co-worker pray for her. This interaction revealed a desire many have to be known and share their burdens. Too many of us don’t stop long enough to listen to each other. If you ask the question a second time, you will find most people willing to open up just a little bit. It is thought that door where Jesus can minister to that person. I have seen great results with servers, airline attendants, retail workers, as well as friends. Go ahead, take some extra time to really find out how someone is doing and watch how God works. Even on your worst day, you will end up feeling better.