An article in this morning's Washington Post online talks about the Washington D.C. metro prognosis for 2009 based on the Post's recent Economy Challenge which assembled local business & economic experts to make predictions. The prognostications were wildly divergent in outlook. For example, some believe job growth will grow by 28,500 jobs and another believes they'll lose 46,000 jobs; real estate market will fall 20% to a median priced home of $265,000 or grow 20% to a median priced home of $400,000. There's more but why belabor it?
The more I read from the financial "experts" the more I realize "They know nothing!" as Jim Cramer would say. He knows nothing. How do I know? Every stock I've followed on his strong recommendation is in the toilet. While this is most likely true of most stocks and most people's recommendations, it just goes to show that it's easy to make predictions when things are going well. Not so easy when they are not. Who said that?
Anyway, I am like you. I don't know anything anymore. Not sure if I ever did. The older I get, the more I realize how little I really do know. My Zen-like minister gave a sermon yesterday, "Live in the Present". He stressed the importance of not trying to figure out where we'll be in two months, two years, two days. He advised us to live in the moment of how we feel now. It can be good, it can be bad. It is not permanent. This comes from a man just diagnosed with prostate cancer. He called it his "good news and bad news".
My husband and I have been going through a really tough time these past few years. He's had health issues that were debilitating and disabling. He's now improved enough to get back into the work force and there aren't any jobs, at least, none he's been able to find. We cannot live on my salary alone but we've been lucky with an inheritance from my father and a settlement my husband received from his last job. However, the money is running out and we are now faced with the question of "What do we do now?"
I realize we've been faced with this question over and over in our lives. Sometimes we've known exactly what to do; others, not. I do know that God has always looked out for us and we have survived and always become stronger for it. Comparatively speaking, we have been extremely lucky. I still live in my own home, have enough to eat, have health insurance, have a job. These small things are huge when you look at the rest of the world.
I do not know what tomorrow will bring. I do know I cannot be afraid. One of my favorite movie moments is in the 1951 version of "A Christmas Carol" with Alastair Sim. When he awakens Christmas morning, after the visits of the three ghosts, he is ecstatic to know he's not only still alive but he has time to change his future. He begins to dance around the room in his nightshirt & nightcap singing,
"I don't know anything,
I never did know anything.
But now I know
That I don't know
All on a Christmas morning."
"Men make plans and God laughs." Author unknown attributed to Yiddish proverb