August 11, 2021
Listen to Your Angel
A commentary on the “pandemic” of deaths of despair
by John K. Lane
I was in church recently for Sunday mass and one of the readings really struck home with me how that after nearly 3,000 years, humans have not changed that much, both in regards to despair and hope.
It was the 9th century BCE story of the Prophet Elijah who had become tired and greatly depressed regarding his lot in life. At that moment, he lay down and asked God to let him die. As I sat there, I thought about the somewhat lesser reported “pandemics” of suicides, alcohol and substance abuse, which have contributed to a recent decline in life expectancy rates (in addition to the impact of COVID).
The numbers are stunning at approximately 50,000 suicides, 100,000 alcohol related deaths and 50,000 overdose deaths each year in the US. And those numbers do not include all those who attempted suicide or who survived the overdose. These were not deaths of misfortune, but instead deaths in response to misfortune, of despair. This may be despair in response to family strife, unemployment, or a failing business.
In the reading, God sent Elijah an angel who fed him and encouraged him to continue his journey. I think that this can be equally true today as we are all surrounded by angels.
Your angels may be your faith, your spouse, your family, your friends, a local counselling agency or even your business advisors.
I have dealt with many business owners whose businesses were about to collapse or had collapsed. I take great pains to remind them of what is good in their lives, their family, their health. I also remind them of the saying “this too shall pass”, that while this day may be dark, there will be many sunny days ahead, but only if they continue their journey. In fact, I once had a business owner tell me the best advice that he had ever received was from me telling him to close down his business and move on with his life.
Remember, if for whatever reason you happen to fail into despair, you will be best served to listen to your angels.