Photo Credit: www.anywherepad.com
By Yonatan Gordon
I learned an important lesson this morning. Then I decided to see if there was something new in technology to write about, and saw the same lesson repeated.
What was the first? That we are not asked to succeed in life, only do. The results are up to God, but the effort is up to us. Basically, taking positive initiative really does make all the difference. But something more. Not only does it make the difference, the results are not your doing to begin with … so in general, its not healthy to look too much at the results. God put you there for a reason, and you happened to listen that day. But don’t get caught up in the accolades lest the throes of self-satisfaction and complacency set in.
In any event, that was the lesson … compacted from about three years worth of learning on the subject.
Glitches, Glitches, Everywhere…
So what happened next? I decided its been awhile since a technology article was written, so I went to Google News to see what was doing. What did I see? An article from Reuters about “glitches” in the government’s healthcare website–HealthCare.gov. As I don’t usually write about American politics, I then tunneled down into the technology area. What was the first article there? Windows 8.1 update glitch stops RT starting up.
Now the word “glitch” is bound to come up in technology headlines from time to time. But what struck me is that the article about HealthCare.gov and Windows 8.1. both used the word, and were published just prior to logging on (Reuters 3 minutes before, Windows 8.1. BBC article 10 minutes). But still, that alone is not enough reason to write this article. What turned this remarkable occurrence, into something deeply meaningful for me, is that I felt like additional metaphors were being provided for what I had just learned prior.
It’s not an easy to learn. Those programmers at HealthCare.gov and Microsoft probably worked very hard to make sure that the website or program upgrade worked. But even with all the effort that was put into it, somehow, someway, these glitches still occurred. You can read the articles if you like (the links were put above), but this whole post is about the initiative that goes into something, not the end results or reward that follows.
In this sense, the most important sentiment for me, from both articles, was this from Reuters:
Administration officials blame the problems partly on an unexpectedly high volume of visitors in its first 10 days. According to [the Department of Health and Human Services], there were more than 19 million visits to the website.
“We are committed to doing better,” the department said in its blog post on Sunday.
Why did I find this to be the most telling sentiment? Because even if 19 million people visit your blog tomorrow, like your Facebook post, vote you into office … if this even for a moment this leads to a glitch or system downtime, then this is missing the point.
There was a book that sold millions a few years back called “The Last Lecture.” What was this book? Perhaps you already know. The author was diagnosed… already, unfortunately we know what those three dots mean and don’t need to elaborate. So he gave a speech at Carnegie Mellon–where he had been a professor–mainly to impart some life lessons to his children. Even though over 16 million people have since viewed that lecture, and millions bought the book that was later written based on it, he kept saying that the main viewers or readers were his children.
God should help us all that we not be tested, that we all experience only revealed good throughout our lives. But if a challenge does arise, especially in the context of this post–the challenge of being wealthy, famous, etc…–it’s essential to keep the proper perspective on life, and on what’s really important.
We can only try our best, then try again the next day to do even better. But even if 19 million people go to your site tomorrow, or 16 million to your video, it has nothing to do with you other than the fact that God chose you to be the conduit for the message that day.