When Times Are Hard

The Guideposts executive editor shares how he gets through tough times.

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“Remember how bad things were last year?” I heard myself saying.

I was giving a two-minute stewardship address at my church, and worried once again how we were ever going to make our budget this year. There were still too many folks in the congregation out of work and even more whose jobs seemed to be threatened. How could they dig into their pockets at such an insecure time? 

Then I remembered. Things seemed even worse last year. The stock market had tumbled thousands of points, several big banks had closed and many more were teetering on the brink, everybody’s 401Ks had plummeted so much that they were calling them 201Ks.

“Remember how bad that was?” I said. “Well, we got through that year.” The end of October seemed disastrous. The end of December we closed our books pretty close to our goal.  

Sometimes it’s worth having a bad memory. I can forget those painful memories of adolescence when I said and did more stupid things than anyone could count. But every time I wonder how I’m going to get through something—when times seem really hard—it’s worth remembering. 

I think of a really tough moment in the past and remember: “I got through that. I’ll get through this.” The help I needed was there when I needed it. It'll be there again.    

Rick Hamlin is the executive editor at GUIDEPOSTS.

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