Friday, November 16, 2012

To hook a fish and have to let it go...never was my plan

To say I am a career-oriented person would be a bit of a stretch. I wanted to be a professional athlete until I was in my mid-20's. It wasn't until I got in the workforce that I started to play catch up for lost time. After a few different fields, I finally ended up in an niche of IT that I really enjoyed, did pretty well at and was beginning to form a future with. In short, I had finally found a place in the working world and was getting used to it. That is, until cancer decided to butt its head into my life and gut any plans I and Kerri may have had for the future. Ironically, the job I have was the first time in my life I felt confident I had landed in something good with a future. And, look at what happens. Seriously? How does that work... To go from "Hey, I've got a job, I'm making forward progress, really honing some specific skills" to "how am I going to be able to even make a full work week?" is a pretty radical shift.

I guess most of my life has been blessed to the point I never realized it. Whenever big problems would arise, I would knuckle down, gut my way through whatever was going on and, given enough time, the problems typically disappeared. What I face now is of a different nature. Baring a miracle, yes, a literal miracle, this is not something that I can close my eyes and wish away. One of the biggest rubs about all of this is that I have spent the past 6 or so years building a library, refining skills, learning my trade with the hope of becoming an expert of sorts in what I do. It took me a few years, but, I finally latched onto this one computer program from Microsoft called PowerShell that looked like it would take me far and wide. At least, as far and wide as I was going to go. Over the past two years I have really made some major headway towards that those highest levels of skill with the tool, and, as with the rest of all this, it looked like I had a really solid trajectory to hit my goals.

Suddenly, in the past 6 months, doors have opened, people have connected with me and I with them so that I really could start doing some heavy work in the community. I was excited. I helped start a user group where I live. I actually got a few articles put into online blogs (not just my own) and I even started working on a chapter for a book. That's actually still in play at the moment. All this is to say that, in spite of my diagnosis and condition I still forged ahead into this area and continued to make progress even though I was operating at maybe 40%. In the past month I have had tremendous opportunities present themselves. And, here is the rub. I have had to stop, take a real, hard look at what I am doing and let these opportunities pass me by. I feel like such a flake. I spend years cultivating a skill and, just I get the chance to start using it at a high level, am basically told in my spirit, "You really are not in any position to do this. You need to let it go."

I don't know about yet, but, spending years of my life trying to become something only to have to let it go as soon as its in your grasp is a kind of disappointment I had never even known to consider. Being the one who begs and works to get to the inner circle just in time to have to stop, back up and apologize, "Sorry, I am not supposed to be here." Man, that has been one of the hardest pills I've ever had to swallow in my life. I guess, in the end, it is a matter of pride. I have been accumulating my works, my deeds, my efforts, into a chain of events and ideas that built me up as something special. And, in the end, God seems to be asking me to let it all go. The deeper rub is that I am letting it go not because there is something better for which he has destined me (at least not that I know of) but simply because I am impotent to use the power built up over all these years.

There are no conferences for me. No books. No speaking engagements or teaching of classes...or magazine article...or...or...and...or. You get the drift. No, I am letting it pass me by out of obedience to God. Now, I look at it and see prudence, practically, wisdom and all those great things. However, prudence, practically, wisdom and all those great things do not shift my life in another direction. It's not as if letting go of my PowerShell ambitions will cure my disease. Hardly. No, the real rub here is that I feel I was allowed to pursue something to the point of attainment only  to have to choose: God's way or yours? So, we're back to free will are we? In the end, yes. I can choose to follow what I sense God's nudging is (to stop wasting my time messing around with computers and get busy loving on my family and friends) or I can do what I want (vainly pursue happiness in little bits and pieces, hits of happiness spaced out with long periods of desperate effort trying to get that next hit of happiness).

One of the killer ironies here is that I have had this same sort of cyclical pattern in other areas of my life. This one is just marked by much deeper reliefs and the depth of the situation are much, much more extreme. In the past, with running for instance, the pattern was I'd set an unrealistic goal for myself, train for 6 months, fail to reach my goal (but still do exceedingly well) only to feel like a failure. Here, however, for the first time, I actually CAN reach my goal but am being asked not to. That is novel...and, frankly...pisses me off more than I can say. The first time I actually get it right and I can't even revel in the little bit of glory I found through my hard work and good fortune. God, you really are mysterious in your ways. Right now, I say that more with frustration than awe. For now, it's back to bed. Maybe God's got a script I can use to make sense of all this! Man, I'd be willing to pay money for that...

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