Called to patience and yet so impatient

As part of my church’s season of prayer and fasting I’ve been reading through the bible.  I’ve never done a complete read but its something I’ve always wanted to do.  My readings have been all over the new and old testaments and have had an unexpected common theme for me: patience.

I enjoy agile software development because of the short development cycles and working directly with the customer.  I love building software that makes my customers happy.  I love showing them what we’ve been able to do in the last sprint.  We almost always exceed their expectations.  Those who know me professionally would probably say I’m an energetic, opinionated, and driven sort of person.  Agile development fits my personally well – it feeds my impatient nature.

I am so impatient.

And yet, God is clearly calling me to be patent.  Every circumstance in my life has one or more elements of patience involved.  As a small example, I am back in an organization (not by my own will) that is very waterfall-ish and customer involvement is primarily limited to analysts.  Its whole nature is anti-agile.

As I start my yearly self evaluation for work (groan) I know I’m to have the worst yearly review of my career.  I built some nice software and solved some good problems, but I did not conduct myself well and that is what will be remembered on the review.  I did not deal well with the changes brought to my job.  I did not deal well with being told to “maintain status quo” while everything around me changed without my input.  I was a team/tech lead for 11 years and suddenly I no longer was. I’ve been angry, judgmental… elitist… and it all stems from my impatience.

The easy answer is to change jobs –  to side-step the problem, feed my impatience.  I’ve been able to do that in the past.  And while in the past God has clearly used my career and moved me where He’s wanted me to be, God is not calling me to change jobs right now.  I’ve prayed, I’ve tested… it is not time… oh how I wish it was, it would be so much easier.

I teach my students that as software engineers we are not employed to make our own developer lives easier – we are employed to make our customer’s lives easier.  That, typically, means making our lives harder.  The old developer adage applies: what makes things easy for developers makes things hard for the user and what makes things easy for the user makes things hard for developers…

I am not in the business of doing things the easy way – I am in the business of doing things the right way.

But God rewards patience.  Joseph sold into slavery to ultimately save his family. Job striped of everything to then receive double what he had before. The easy way is rarely the right way… and the right way usually involves being patent.

And so for me, the right way means being patent (and apparently also humble, given this season of annual reviews) and trusting God to work in these situations for His, and my, benefit.

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5 Responses to “Called to patience and yet so impatient”

  1. The Furthor Adventures Of… « Coder For Christ Says:

    […] The Furthor Adventures Of… By Dan Pedersen Its been quiet on the blogging front for a few very good reasons.  Primarily, it is due all that want into my resigning from RIT. We are very excited to announce we are moving to the Cary, North Carolina area so that I may start my new position with Deutsche Bank Global Technologies. It has been hard not talking about what we’ve been doing – only a few close personal friends knew about what we were trying to do.  The waiting was very hard… it required lots of patience… […]

  2. Philip McNeill Says:

    Yeah man that was really well written. Victory belongs to the steadfast. Scripture has two words for power in the New Testament. One is “dunamis” which means immediate explosive power. The other is, I believe, “exousia”, which means slow moving power like a bull dozer. (May not have Greek completely correct on these, but I know I am close.) Two different kinds of power. One requires no patience the other does. Both get the job done. Patience is real exousia power.

    Your a good man Dan.
    “Cabbage go.”

  3. Mike Gastin Says:

    Very well written and very insightful. I don’t think it is easy to be self aware and intellectually honest about how you have handled yourself, but I know it is necessary to have that ability if you want to really grow.

    I have found that things are not always as bad as I’m expecting them to be when I let go. It sounds like you’ve let go. I’m sure our Father will honor that.

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