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Trap or transition? A lesson from a fly

A Christian Science perspective.

By Jessica Lane / May 26, 2010



Bzzz. Bzzzzzzz. A fly buzzed by my head, pulling me out of deep thought. I pushed back from my desk, captured the fly in a glass, and carried it toward the door to release it. The fly immediately was buzzing around excitedly, unaware, of course, that it was trapped only temporarily or that it was being transported outside, where it very likely would rather be.

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Sitting back down at the computer to resume my job search, I was surprised to realize how much I was feeling like that fly must have felt. I was doing some frantic buzzing of my own. I’d recently completed my master’s degree, and while I had a great summer position lined up, I needed full-time work come September. After several months of job hunting, none of my efforts appeared to have been successful.

I realized that I was not seeing my situation as a temporary one. Somewhere along the way I had lost perspective and felt stuck in a seemingly never-ending job hunt. I was reminded in that moment that what I was going through was only temporary.

It made me think of the Bible’s account of Joseph. At a point in his life where everything seemed to be going very well for him, he was wrongly charged with sexual assault and sent to prison. I wondered what he might have been thinking while he was in prison. Did he have moments when he felt stuck or trapped, or where everything just felt wrong? No matter. As it turned out, there was a perfect plan in place for him all along. While there, circumstances arose for Joseph to interpret Pharaoh’s dream, which led to Joseph’s being placed in a top position: ruler over all the land of Egypt. As Pharaoh told Joseph, “Only in the throne will I be greater than thou” (Gen. 41:40).

When I thought about my situation with this new perspective and expanded my understanding beyond the circumstances in front of me, I realized that as with the fly held in the glass as I took it outside, my phase of being in between jobs was temporary, part of a bigger plan that would guide me to the right job. All I needed to do was be comfortable with the transition time and trust that it was simply one step in the process toward a suitable job opportunity.

I found some further insight in a statement by Mary Baker Eddy, who founded the Monitor. She wrote, “Error is a belief without understanding” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,”
p. 472). I had a belief about my situation – that my job opportunity was uncertain – without understanding that because of God’s infinite care for each of His children, the outcome of my experience would be a good one. As the Apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthians, “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory” (II Cor. 4:17).

God’s great goodness is constant through each experience we traverse. The prison was a transitory phase for Joseph’s next opportunity, and my transition time was also. Soon after that day, I was invited to interview for an open position at the company where I was working. The summer job turned into a full-time contract position that was followed by a job offer, which I accepted. When I realized one day that the full-time work began the same month that repayment of my student loans kicked in, I was sure it was no coincidence.

While in the middle of a transition phase, it can be hard to remember the great goodness God has in store for us. Yet right at that time we can trust that “all things work together for good to them that love God” (Rom. 8:28). We can remember that God’s great good is constant and trust that there is a perfect plan in place for us, no matter what our stage of experience is.

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