The 14,000 Sheep Blog
How to be happier, healthier and wealthier after 50
Why I call this blog 14,000 sheep
When I was fired at age 50 in the last Recession, I dreaded weekday mornings. After I kissed my wife goodbye as she left for her office and the kids got safely off to school, I would take a deep breath and recall the days when the roles were reversed: I was leaving and they were staying.
I walked to the basement of my home in the suburbs with a jumbo mortgage I realized I might not be able to pay soon. My palms sweat. My tongue felt dry. No one called.
To get centered, I would have what I call my "quiet time" and what others might call their Bible study time or prayer time. For the first time ever, I read the Book of Job.
Job is a book in the Bible about suffering. I had avoided it my entire life.
It’s a story about a guy who lost it all for no apparent reason and somehow hung in there, spawning the idiom, “the patience of Job.”
I’m not patient. But I was unemployed and had time to give Job a chance. I set out to read a chapter a day in my basement while my wife was at work and my kids were in school.
No wonder I avoided Job like the plague. He experienced the plague.
We’re talking marauding invaders killing his livestock, servants and 10 children. We’re talking skin sores. Bad skin sores. We’re talking about a nagging wife who says give up and die.
Job isn’t a likely pick-me-up when you are out of work, wondering if you are over the hill, washed up and put out to pasture (not to mention other cliches) at age 50. You think your career is over.
You start telling yourself you are a liability to employers who could hire two or more tech-savvy kids fresh out of college for what you got paid.
I pressed on with this book of woe, a chapter every day until I finally got to the end. That’s when I read:
“The LORD blessed Job in the second half of his life even more than in the beginning.” — Job 42:12 (New Living Translation)
A happy ending! I underlined and highlighted it.