When Well-Doing Isn't Doing Well

Have you ever tried to accomplish a good thing for a good cause with a good attitude only to be met with total defeat?  In my mind, that's one of the most frustrating things in the world.  I mean, if I'm doing the wrong things or acting in the wrong attitude or with the wrong motives, then failure makes sense.  But when I'm struggling to do the right things, why can't things just go smoothly?

Jason and I have dealt with that a lot recently.  Our church was in need of a second projector, this one to display on the back wall for the choir and song leader.  After several quotes and online searches, it was determined that, by far, the least inexpensive route would be to order the parts online and have someone from the church install it.  That someone was Jason.  (Although, I did play a minute role in the process as the "fetch and tote" gal.  I even climbed up on a VERY tall ladder.  I didn't like it, but I did it.)

The installation, though time-consuming, didn't present many problems.  Praise the Lord!  However, since that time, the projector has had some serious mood swings.  During one service it decided to go all funky with the contrast, making it extremely difficult to read the display.  At another point, it determined that it would not play a particular slideshow.  It played all the rest, just not this one in particular.  Similar glitches have popped up out of the blue, causing great frustration to Jason, who is baffled by its array of moods.  (Although, you'd think he'd be used to that being married to me!)

Another frustration is that many of the good people of the church don't understand how the projection system works.  We completed the installation of the projector on a Sunday afternoon between services.  By that evening, several of the members expected to have all of our music, lyrics, announcements and so on displayed.  "Well, that's why we got it," one lady proclaimed.  I did my best to explain that slides didn't magically appear just because we had a new projector, and that all the songs in our song books (both congregational and choir) had to be made into slides before they could be displayed by the projector.  Based on the blank stares I received, I don't think a lot of them understood.

The following day, Jason and I decided to look into some church software programs that would allow us to display lyrical slide shows without having to do all the grunt work of typing out slides and creating PowerPoint presentations.  We knew they existed, but could we afford them?  After more research, we discovered several free versions of software that would do the trick.  Unfortunately, we don't have internet access at church, so the software would have to be downloaded onto Jason's computer and then transferred to the church computer.  But Jason has a Linux system instead of Windows (which was required), so he needed to partition his hard drive to make room for Windows as well.  It should have been a simple process.  It wasn't.  He ran into one hiccup after another.  First this wouldn't work, then that wouldn't.  Bless his heart, he was becoming so frustrated, and I don't blame him.

As we prayed for guidance and dealt with problems, Galatians 6:9 came to mind.  And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.  As I thought on this verse, I lifted my eyes to Heaven and cried, "Lord, our well-doing is not doing well!"  Then I poured out my sob story of how we were trying to do all of this for Him and His house.  We were trying to make it easier to worship by providing slides for all to see.  We were trying to do good!  Why were we failing?

It was then that the second part of the verse came to mind. For in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. To be honest, I wanted to quit.  Both of us were tired and frustrated, and that frustration was creeping into other areas of our relationship.  I didn't want that.  Yes, at times, I wanted to throw up my hands and say, "I've had enough!" (Kind of like the straw that broke the camel's back, huh?  I told you the last few weeks had been rough.)  But as much as I wanted to quit, the Lord wouldn't let me.  A single phrase kept ringing through my head:  "Keep On Keeping On!"

Sometimes, well-doing just doesn't do well.  You perform to the best of your ability, and the job still goes to someone else.  You do all the work and preparation for an event, and someone else gets all the credit.  You try to do something for the glory of the Lord, and you're met with defeat at every corner.  What do you do?  Keep on keeping on.  Yes, it's tough.  Yes, it's frustrating.  Yes, it's exhausting.  But it will also be worth it.  We have God's promise on that.  If we'll stay true and faithful, we'll reap the reward.  Just whatever you do, DON'T GIVE UP!