Amazon just delivered some new reading materials for my upcoming vacay! When I think about the insane number of books that I’ve read up to this point, I think about four things:
1) The authors sharing valuable wisdom with me
2) The mentors who have made good recommendations to help me learn and grow
3) The books that I have been able to pass on through mentoring and my recommendations to others
4) The stark difference between aged books on a specific technical topic that all make their way to Goodwill eventually, vs so many strategic/theoretical books that remain collected treasures on my bookshelf
It seems that in IT, there is always a mix of learning technical information that with be good for 5-10 years max — vs learning skills, tactics, theories, and approaches that will continue building upon a solid foundation for decades. And you can’t beat OJT and real world experience for teaching us about both humbling victories and encouraging defeats.
And reading the Bible for wisdom is something that I was able to do when I was a child, and that I still enjoy in my forties. In fact, I have a dedicated bookcase these days just for Bibles send Bible study related books.
I’m not sharing this to brag or for “virtue signaling”. I’m sharing this because reading and authoring and mentoring is much more “profitable” to us as a society than arguing on Facebook, watching trending videos on the Internet, vegging out in front of the TV, or even being politically active. And “learning and sharing” (mentoring) is different than “preaching”.
I think that I became frustrated with my own circumstances recently because I was “preaching” — making myself heard and trying to prove myself right — instead of learning and sharing. It’s hard to get anyone but a captive audience to listen to such things, and it is easy to let one’s heart harden when one is blindly and loudly “preaching” — throwing seed around wildly with no thought as to what seed would be best, and with no attempts at plowing, mowing, weeding or maintaining.
I seem to go through seasons of my life where the circumstances and demands of the day, along with my responsibilities to family, friends, employer, etc. have me falling short time after time. I commit to a great idea of how I will do such and such each day, how I will stick to a certain schedule, how I will be consistent and unwavering. And I laugh at myself each time when I eventually fall short again of my “well intentioned plans”.
I’m going to tell you — read, grow, learn, preach, mentor, and live a purposeful life of worshipping God and spreading this Good News to the whole world. And when you look up and realize that things have drifted, that things have changed, that you need to refocus again — do it!
We all fall short. Don’t let the lies of the enemy tell you that because you fell short of your “perfect plan” that you ought to just give up and stop. No, God has a better plan than your best plan — and He has brought you to where you are for a time such as this. Don’t let the number of books on the shelf tell you anything about yourself — or the work you’ve done in the past be a measure of your success or failure. If God is for you, and He is in you, and He is with you, what can stand against you?
And if He isn’t, or if you aren’t sure that He is — then how about you talk with Him about that right now?