See the Good

I was just journaling about how discouraged I am only one and a half weeks officially into my new job. Discouraged with the time it consumes, the endless emails and virtual meetings, the feeling like I’ll never catch up. Discouraged that I haven’t found a rhythm, and that any time I try to plan how long I’ll work or what I’ll work on, my plans get pulled from my hands and stretched like silly putty in 89 different ways. Discouraged that I sometimes lose sleep at night wondering, How will I ever get it all done?

I’m one of those people who doesn’t like to leave things undone. Classic example: I normally have a clean email inbox. I don’t like unread messages, and I like to categorize what I have read, replied to, and completed. Now? I have three new inboxes, for my one new job, and each seems to have an April Fools’ “work more” code built into it. Every time I open an email in one inbox, three more appear in another. April Fools! It never ends! Somewhere, at this very moment, one of my former computer science engineering students who got a job at Google is probably laughing maniacally at the perfect revenge he’s exacted on me for making too many comments and then giving him a B (Oh, the horror!) on his technical communication papers.

Also right about now? My boss is probably reading this and saying to herself, I need to call Rhonda and make sure she’s okay. No need to call, Ann. I’m okay. Just keep reading. (She’s a great boss. I’ve been so blessed in that department, both in the past and the present.)

As I was journaling, I went through a timeline of my life just since yesterday morning, listing all that had happened and—I’ll admit it—implicitly complaining about how busy my life has become. I had just written, “I’m getting discouraged about how this job is going so far…” when I picked up my coffee mug and took a gulp of delicious (Irish) coffee. My mug that I got last week for my birthday, that I had asked for. My mug that says “See the good.”

That’s when the whisper came: Remember—this job is God’s provision for you and your family. This job is helping you keep your kids in a Christian school. This job is giving you time to serve at your local church as a weekend producer—every weekendsomething you only thought was possible if you got a paying job at the church.

Stoneware coffee mug that says "See the good" with the edge of a leather journal in the foreground

Remember to See the Good.

See, God gave me a dream and a calling, and then challenged me to let him work out the details. Working out the details, though, is one of the hardest things for me to let others do. It was when I gave up on trying to plan for the details—when I gave up the job, gave up any concrete plans for a paycheck, and just offered my time and services freely—that he stepped in and provided. God dropped a job in my lap and opened up the opportunity for me to serve at church without worrying about compensation. I’m living—in part—the dream God put in my heart, serving as the weekend producer for our church services. The rest? If they’re of God, they’ll come in time—in his time.

That’s what—who—I need to focus on. Him. God, and the good he has done in my life, and is doing all around me. He’s doing good all the time; sometimes, though, we need to have him whisper a reminder to open our eyes and see it. As I was journaling, I was reminded that I shouldn’t allow myself to get mired down by counting hours and emails. I shouldn’t allow myself to become discouraged over a job—a gift of God’s provision.

Instead, I need to See the Good.

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