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Having One of those days?

Have you ever had one of those days? You woke up with good intentions, but trouble found you, life happened, and things just did not go the way you had planned You wanted to get to work or school early but the car wouldn’t start, traffic was bad, or the red lights just did not cooperate with your timeline. Maybe an assignment or work project date just got moved up…and you are already behind… or the routine car service turned into a major repair job, and the dog ate your homework. Somehow you survived and made it home for dinner.

You thought it was all over when you sat down to watch tv, but you can’t find the remote control. We have all experienced bad days…and today, it was your turn. If anyone in history can truly say “If It Ain’t One Thing, It’s Another,” it is Job. In one day, Job lost his wealth, most of his servants were killed, and his animals were stolen or slaughtered. As if that weren’t enough, Job’s children were all killed when their house collapsed on them (Job 1: 13-18). Satan isolated Job from his wealth, friends, and family, but he could not isolate him from God. Isolation can devastate our personal, spiritual, and professional lives. When we are isolated, whether at work or at home, we tend to receive limited or filtered information, people avoid us, and we are often unaware of how our behaviors impact others.

You may have heard the adage “It’s lonely at the top.” Isolation, when unguarded often results in loneliness. According to the Harvard Business Review, “being isolated at the top can compromise your decision making and leadership effectiveness, both of which require having as much firsthand information about a situation as possible.” Trouble acts like a wolf isolating the flock of sheep from the shepherd making each one vulnerable. Isolation is a powerful tool that separates us from those we need and love and who are most likely to help us.

The isolation and loneliness caused by trouble can be debilitating; however, the good news is that we can proactively take steps to guard against them before they occur. Guarding against isolation and loneliness begins with taking three initial steps:

1. Accept the reality of the situation. Accept the fact that trouble is going to find us. It’s going to happen; it’s just a matter of It isn’t easy to acknowledge isolation and loneliness, especially if we are the cause. Simply acknowledging you’re feeling alone and isolated can draw attention to the problem instead of avoiding or denying it.

2. Confide and seek the support of others. Don’t surround yourself with “Yes Men”; you’re defeating the purpose. Rather, seek the support of those that can honestly and objectively help you by providing valid information or an assessment of what they see regarding your situation and behavior.

3. Find ways to serve others. Serving others has a way of shifting our attention from our problems to the needs of others. There are people all around you at church, work, and at home that could use a little help. It could be as simple as spending time with and listening to them. You just might find out that your problems aren’t so bad after all.

Don’t let trouble make you a victim of isolation, and don’t be afraid to ask others for help. “Happiness comes when we stop complaining about the troubles we have and say thank you to God for the troubles we don’t have.” (Anonymous)

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