How I survived a layoff with my spirituality

Seven years ago, I lost my job in a restructuring effort. One day, things are fine and dandy and the next, you’re informed that the entire unit is going to be shut down and outsourced to a different country to keep costs down.

You cannot change what happens to you…but you can always choose to respond in hope and faith.

Here’s my spirituality lesson that came to the rescue. It’s something I learnt in Sunday school.

The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Though, I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil. For you are with me. Your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil. My cup overflows. Surely, goodness and mercy will hunt me down all the days of my life. And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Lesson 1: I am the sheep and God is my shepherd.

Lesson 2: The sheep is extremely dependent on the shepherd since it doesn’t have claws to defend itself or the smarts to find its own food without the shepherd.

Lesson 3: It is the shepherd’s responsibility to take care of the well-being of the sheep.

Lesson 4: Imagined myself as the sheep with a kind hearted shepherd caring for his sheep in the above story.

Lesson 5: Since I have a shepherd, I might as well not panic.

Having settled my heart on the above, I applied for jobs. Thanks to the internet, applying for jobs wasn’t as tedious. I spent approximately an hour a day, checking new opportunities on job sites and applying. My evenings were just like any other evenings even after the layoff announcement, watching movies or going out with friends. Anytime I felt anxious, I made a mental note to myself that the shepherd is on the lookout.

To cut a long story short, my spirituality came to my rescue. I managed to find a job (a much better one!) within 30 days and I did not have a career gap due to this layoff. And…I was not stressed in the process…

Every day is a gift to be enjoyed not a chore to be endured. The day I realized I had a shepherd was the day I started really living. Before that, I just existed.

Before the layoff, my spirituality lesson about the sheep and the shepherd was just a theory. But, since then, whenever I read this passage, I remember the special way, my shepherd took care of me during the “layoff” season…and what a pleasant adventure it was. And it’s all because of the kind shepherd!