I am driving my daughter back from dropping off faulty new eyeglasses and she, the good meteorology major that she is, notices the sky first. We both goggle at it. This demands a detour.
The first stop gives us the best sky. But we know we can do better than the athletic fields for the landscape beneath. So we head down a road to take us into the surrounding farmlands. “You know,” I say, adding my own bit of weather wisdom, “we only have a few minutes before the whole thing can change.”
And when we pull over again, we have already lost some of the undulation. But the light is dramatic and the rolling farmlands counterbalance nicely. We stand for a few minutes, enjoying the view.
Moments before our atmospheric adventure, we had been discussing how to view difficult tasks. Grace is heading back to college tomorrow and feels the weight of the work about to descend on her. I’ve had a long break myself and as I approach traveling and scribing again, I, too, sense the convoluted clouds of details and improvisational performances gathering overhead.
So I share my own struggle. “When our jobs are challenging,” I say, “we can be tempted to frame them in our minds and conversation as only as being hard. We lose sight of the pleasures. And the more we talk about how hard they are, the more we believe it.”
I tell her about the steps I’m taking to maintain a positive view of my work, despite its formidable aspects. Like making a point to commit my work to the Lord at the beginning of a task. And giving myself visual reminders through the day to remember God. And watching how I speak of the work.
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (1 Thessalonians 5:16–18)
God doesn’t ask us to be Pollyannas. He calls us – wills us – to open up a line of communication with him that makes it possible to see, in all situations, his loving presence with us. In both the overcast and the blue skies.
So, this being the second rainiest year in Pennsylvania’s history, it’s only natural that we broke into “Here Comes the Sun” as rays bathed the drive back. You just won’t catch us badmouthing the clouds.
Father God, sender of good in all its various disguises, teach us to frame up and speak about everything in our lives as an intentional kindness from you. Even the things we find tedious or stressful. Help us to rejoice that we are yours.