Isn’t it amazing how quickly work can turn from great satisfaction to great frustration?  For the past week, I’ve been working to update The Special Gathering of Indian River data base.  It has been an exciting learning curve for me.  I truly enjoy stretching my mind and learning new things.  In the back of my mind, of course, there have been nagging concerns because I don’t really understand the overall picture of what I’m doing.  I’m learning the 1, 2, 3 steps but not understanding the overall picture.

Facing a deadline this afternoon, I labored this morning well ahead of time to meet the deadline.  Then I came to a screeching halt.  Several things with my husband took up more time than normal.  I returned to finish a simple task that I’ve done for 20 years.  However, I was working with the adjustments in our data base and I somehow doubled all my labels.  Instead of 425 labels, I ended up with 850, two of each label.  Unfortunately, because I was feeling the pressure of the deadline, I didn’t catch the mistake until I had printed all 850 labels.  I tried to redo the labels.  Again, they were doubled.

I redid the whole process.  Still, double labels.  Frustrated, I reworked the entire data base.  Doubles, again.  Finally, I returned to last month’s data and successfully did my labels.  By now, I was stressed and confused. 

As I drove to The Special Gathering office to deliver the newsletter and labels, I reviewed what–if anything–I had learned.  Here are several things which might help you.

  1. Complete the task as quickly and easily as possible. 
  2. Assume it is an OE (operator error) problem.   
  3. If you must, go back to older data or an older methods to complete the task.
  4. As soon as the job is completed, leave.
  5. You may not be able to leave your office, but leave the work area for a time.  Walk away from your desk.  Do a completely different task. Get a cup of tea or coffee. 
  6. Reward yourself.  Eat a piece of chocolate.  I went through a drive-thru restaurant window treating myself to my favorite fish sandwich.
  7. Find some soothing worship music to calm your spirit.
  8. Once you have cooled down a bit, review your mistakes and actions in your mind. 
  9. Try to understand what you could have done differently.
  10. If your review causes the stress to return, challenge your mind to jog away from the event, again. 
  11. Return to your review when you can objectively face the ministry problem.
  12. Pray and ask God to show you the mistakes and the way to correct your mistakes.

Even Jesus moved away from the stress of ministry, only to return stronger and more determined.  You will become exasperated at times; and you will be frustrated.  During these times, move away and allow God to heal your wounded spirit.