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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Great (07/06/06)

TITLE: Everything Is Just Great
By Virginia Gorg


Everything is Just Great

“Oh, this is just great. Great.”

Amy shuddered as the new manager used the word great repeatedly. One would think he holds the patent, she thought to herself.

Ever since Greg was hired five weeks previously, “great” had become the department buzzword. He used the word to signify everything from good to bad, and the employees were beginning to mimic him.

“Greg, look at this great spreadsheet,” Tom said.

“This is just great,” Fred said when his computer froze up and would not work.

The next two months brought changes to the department. Greg became a demanding boss who gave short deadlines for projects. He wouldn’t accept excuses, and watched everyone closely. Unbeknownst to the staff, his life was on a downward spiral.

Amy approached Greg and said, “You seem troubled. Is there anything I can do?”

“No, everything is just great,” Greg responded with a growl. “Do you have those charts done yet? I need them to look great for the presentation Friday.”

“They will be complete tomorrow morning. That way, you’ll have two days to review them.” Amy gathered her notes. At the office door, she paused, “I’ll pray for you tonight at Bible study.” Greg just glared and shut the door.

That evening, Amy asked for prayer for her boss. Sue, her workmate and friend, suggested that they pray together every morning for Greg and the entire staff.

Arriving twenty-five minutes early for work the next day, Amy and Sue spent ten minutes in prayer.

“Oh, this is just great. Holy rollers,” Greg said as he arrived. “I thought praying wasn’t allowed on site.”

Amy replied, “According to our employee handbook, we can pray as long as it’s before working hours or on lunch.”

Sue added, “It brings us a sense of connection to Jesus when we pray.”

Greg rolled his eyes and exclaimed loudly, “Just great. Great. Praying nuts.”

Early on Wednesday, Greg marched into the office. “This is just great. Do you know that your ineptness cost us a bonus this quarter? That’s right, we fell short of our goal by one percent – five audits. Now everyone get to work. I want next quarter to drive us to the top!”

As the months passed, Greg’s mood worsened. He barked orders at everyone and wanted to know the tiniest detail of their work. His temper flared at the smallest incident. Some of the staff left due to his manager techniques.

As fall arrived, Amy and Sue realized that the staff seemed a bit different. They were drawing closer together. “Have you noticed that Fred seems more content lately?” Sue asked.

“I sure have. There doesn’t seem to be as much tension in the office. Do you think it’s a result of our daily prayers?” Amy said.

Sue nodded, “Just the other day, I had two people ask me about praying and why we do it every day. I told them that the Bible tells us to pray continually and give thanks in all circumstances.”

Fall turned into winter and Greg continued to snap out orders and demands, his surly mood controlling him. In contrast, the staff smiled more and accepted his demands cheerfully. The morning prayer team had expanded to more than half the staff.

Late winter brought snow and a deep freeze to the area – and Greg’s disposition. He arrived disheveled and visibly upset on Thursday morning. “This is just great,” he said to Amy. “My car can’t be fixed, my wife is thinking about leaving, and my kids won’t talk to me. I know your husband just lost his job a month ago, yet you seem peaceful. What is your secret?”

Amy simply said, “Jesus is my secret. May I share Him with you?”

Greg said, “In my office.”

Greg listened intently and asked several questions. He said: “This God of yours – He really cares about me?”

“He isn’t just my God, He’s everyone’s God. Just trust in Him and live your life for Him.”

Greg said he would think about it. He also said he would be on vacation the rest of the week.

To everyone’s amazement, Greg arrived with a smile on his face the following Monday. “I feel like a new man. I went to church yesterday with my wife, and gave my life to Christ. Next week I’ll be baptized. Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise.”

Amy smiled and responded: “God is great.”

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Psalm 96:4

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Member Comments
Member Date
Sharlyn Guthrie07/14/06
Your story is well-written, and kept my attention to the end. Good job.
Jan Ackerson 07/17/06
You can kick up the quality of your work by eliminating dialog tags and replacing them with short, descriptive phrases. Nice story, perhaps a bit of a sudden, neat wrap-up, but I really like the realistic office descriptions.
Donna Haug07/19/06
I found the boss' last comment to be a little to full of "Christianese" for a new convert. But I admired the ladies for their commitment to prayer in spite of their boss. If only more people would do that.
Julianne Jones07/21/06
This was just GREAT! Congrats on your GREAT win.
Noreen Ophoff08/01/06
Thanks for writing about angry and grumpy people in the work place. They are everywhere, and stomp on people. Prayer is a wonderful way to allow God to work.
Tim Pickl02/21/08
I've worked in places just like the one you describe...one of my bosses was your main character! God is great! ...and so is this story!