Fear Monster

I’ve worked closely with pretty much the same three people for the last decade.  You really get to know each other when you work together that long.  We’ve wrangled through many software releases together.  Relationally, it’s comfortable, like family.  But things have changed now.  Each of is working in a different context.   It feels really weird to me, kind of startling.  An era has ended for us.  Goodbye comfort zone.

This is a time of big change.  It reminds me of when I was 18 and decided to get married and move from just south of Chicago to near Santa Cruz, California.  That was a pretty gutsy move. I was ready and raring to explore the world then.  I’d seen enough of my home turf.  I just wanted to venture out.  I expected to conquer the world.  Little did I realize my choices would lead to spending nearly ten years in the house cleaning business.  It was successful for me, but not at all what I naively had in mind.   I thought all the pieces would just fall into place and I would be able to achieve my goals.  It was much harder than that.  That was a good lesson though.  Life is work, not pipe dreams.

I’m older and hopefully wiser, now. I don’t rush out where angels fear to tread.  But I’m not dead yet either.  I still have challenges to face.  Part of life as a software engineer means continually studying and adapting.  Nothing stands still.  Going forward can be pretty intimidating.  Just when I master one domain, a new one comes along and humbles me.  The mountains always seem big.  It gives me a pit in my stomach sometimes.  Fortunately, I’ve learned some really good lessons about mountains.

1. Mountains can be climbed.  People do it all the time.

2. They’re not usually as high as they look.

3. You can move one with a spoon if you have enough patience and tenacity.

I remember Randy Stonehill singing a song with the lyric “Life is hard, but God is good.”  I think that’s the song to sing when you step out to face your giants.  In the end, suppose that Goliath had slain David:  Wouldn’t you have rather been David slinging the stone than the army of cowards shaking in their boots who refused to stand?

Frankly, I do a lot of shaking in my boots.  I still get up with the sling.  I can’t make fear go away, but God seems able to work through it anyway.  How great is that?


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