Thursday, October 9, 2008

When Big Men Lose Their Jobs

For the past few weeks I have watched the two major men in my world changing a little each time they are on my TV. Carefully one step at a time they are walking closer to the Big Day when everything might change.

President George Bush is about to leave his housing situation in Washington – at the White House. Stephen Harper, our Prime Minister, doesn’t know if he should get out his suitcases or not.

President Bush will move from a $400,000 a year salary – and with 8 years in office he should have saved a little out of the $3,200,000 that went his way. And there were benefits on top of that.

Prime Minister Harper came to power in January 2006 with a salary of about $294,000 a year – he has only been able to collect just under $600,000 total. With an election that may produce another Minority Government – he is set for another $600,000 at least maybe even $1,200,000 in four years.

Now I must sound like I am envious I am sure. Anyone pointing to another person’s income has to be – right?

No – that is not true. This past week in my journey’s downtown to take the classes to set me on track again… I have met a lot of unemployed people... like me. We once made money and now make little. That is what unemployed means. No pay.

More than that, just outside the office that our classes are held in is the “Ontario Works” office. Many nice and fairly well dressed people walk in and out of that area – right past where I chain up my bike. Then within about an hour the “needy” start walking into the office to get help. These are people that we once called “Welfare People” – social assistance people…down and outers… people that have nothing.

I sat at our break time and watched my fellow Canadians that were all around me in their break times as well. Talk about a world that I knew little about… a world away from me. Now I see it… and live in it.

It is doubtful that Mr. Bush or Mr. Harper will ever come down for their breaks where I take mine. Few people will mill around them looking shiftily from side to side to see who else is where we are. They will never feel the distrust that exists at these levels.

One year ago now I was a big man in town. I was a pastor in a large church. I was ministering each week and I was in control (and over burdened) of a world that is no where near this place that I frequent now. 12 months can make a real difference in how you see things.

As I walked along the street I met a person that I have known for about 4 years. The person had known me through the position I had at the church. The person asked how I was doing and what I was doing down downtown with my bike. I explained I had just moved from E.I. to O.S.E.B. to begin a new business. The person looked at me and laughed very loud for all of the people on the street to hear. “What happened did you get FIRED? I can’t believe you are not at THAT church anymore!?”

I didn’t know what to say. I couldn’t answer.., and then sputtered something about the church not having enough money to pay salaries. But that petered out when then asked what the church is doing now for a minister…

When Big Men lose their jobs they become ordinary men – looking for work.

One other pastor that had left his church a few years back said to me, “I will pray for you. I know what happens when you leave the ministry. Now one calls anymore.”

I winced when I heard that one. It was too true. The phone did stop ringing. No one wants to know if they can come to preach in my church anymore. Strange feelings happen around you… very strange.

I have had very good support from fellow pastors and some of the lay people in the church. Calls, emails, coffee times, are all great… that has really helped to transition out of what I was before…to the new person that I am becoming.

I have thought a lot more about the men and women that are now running for election now. A few will lose their jobs in less than a week. They will stop being Big Men and Women – because some one else is now a bigger man or woman than they are.

As I watch our local MP try to state his case that he has done a good job in his short two years… the runner up, who is Liberal, is loud and forceful, and tries to let everyone know that she is a CREDIBLE VOICE and would be better than the other poor slob that is there now. She has never served in Government ever – and she says she is credible… okay?! I met her on my front porch – she is forceful and won’t listen to even one question…. Oh boy!

Both of these two need prayer – along with the other two that are dividing the vote into smaller sections.

My Point…
Today I ask you to pray for each politician in your area – Canada or USA. Take a look at them differently – as if they were you. As if you were taking their job over or losing it like they might. How might you feel then?

In our area there will be one winner and four losers. They all deserve your support and prayer.

Tim Schindel, my partner from BC, told me that they were looking into signs to put on everyone’s lawn that would take them. The Sign would state something like – “I am praying for my leaders.” or “I am praying for the Government”

What a great idea!

~ Murray Lincoln ~

1 comment:

Tim Schindel said...

Hey Murray - thanks for the mention. We were set to do the election signs until I was having coffee with a police officer friend who asked who would be responsible to clean up all the signs on public property after the election... Since I had no plan, there are no signs... not yet anyway...