In my work, I get to work on different projects each year. One of the projects I am working on this year is a digital game in which the player runs a business. It is replacing a predecessor that was notoriously buggy and it's off to an inauspicious beginning itself. We are beta testing (8 weeks behind schedule) and the math and game logic is deeply flawed. We've brought in a specialist to help fix the algorithms and logic and the more I hear in these meetings with the expert the more I understand just have flawed the math is.
The reason this work-related problem has made it to the blog is that the game is haunting me. Because this game is related to business and accounting, I have always been intimidated by it. I always felt that the project would have been better served by someone else sitting in my seat. Someone better skilled and gifted in these areas. But I have relied heavily on the experts to do the parts I cannot.
But I have carried around a general, low-grade anxiety about this game all year, as the vendor continued to miss deadlines and drop off features they just couldn't get to as they struggled to make the game work.
Every time we received bad news from them (almost weekly on our weekly call), I would grow agitated and angry and have to talk myself down from it. I realized at some point along the way I was too closely associated myself with the game. If it went poorly, it would be a reflection on me- even though it's a big production team. So I had to keep reminding myself that it's a product, not reflection of myself.
Now that we have the beta release in hand, it doesn't work well. You can accomplish the main objective of the game, the math is really off, and it is embarrassing to have to try and frame it in a positive light in front of our end-user testers, because they are also the eventual buyers, so we need them to keep a positive, overall impression.
So, I am having nightmares. Weird ones too. The game is always mixed up with something else and I am failing. These are the common themes.
But now that the algorithm expert is involved, in real life-not the nightmare, he is explaining to them that their unpinning logic is wrong. We're getting the wrong output for each lever pull because they built it wrong.
I have to say, that' a bit of a relief for me on a personal level, because after a year, I should be better at this game. And I am not. I assumed I was just that bad at business and accounting. But they have the wrong formulas behind the levers.
So this long explanation brings me to last night. I'm back in one of my long, frustrating nightmares failing at this game. This time I am in a giant version of the game, literally pulling levers. The wrong levers. I can't win. I can't even figure our how to get better.
I'm so frustrated that I begin to pray. I'm crying out to God to help. I'm so stupid that I can't figure it out.
And I feel like I hear God respond to me in my dream and confirm that I am, indeed, stupid.
Not the comforting response you long to hear in the dead of night coming out of a nightmare; but hearing from God is always a blessing.
He then gives me many examples of the real levers I pulled in life that prove without a doubt that I am not a smart girl. Many of those choices I knew the right thing and chose the wrong thing, even when I knew it would hurt me.
Then He showed me a few of the choices I made in life and times when it went well in my life. Yet these didn't show me how smart I am because they were all the time God stepped in and directed my path.
If I want the game to go well, and I want to meet my objectives, I have to die to self. Self is dumb and has made dumb decisions my whole life.
I have a chip on my shoulder about wanting others to see me as smart. I've been underestimated throughout my life by people who thought I wasn't smart because I wasn't smart in a certain way, even though I was in others. But God told me I have to let this go. It's attached to a root of bitterness that causes me to make choices based on how others perceive me, rather than what's eternal.
He is changing me.
If I can let this (trigger, idol, lever, whatever you want to call it) root of bitterness go; I'm that much more freed up to choose to pull the lever of God's Will and God's Plan and God's Glory. And we know that ever time the desire of our heart lines up with His Plan. We're going to get that desire.
So, in the business of life, there's only one lever, one game logic, one algorithm that leads to winning your objective, and blessed be the name of the Lord for that.
It's interesting, but not surprising, that after that little exchange with God, my work troubles faded away and the nightmare that has been chasing me went with them.
To God be the GHlory.