Why I Want To Be A Quitter

randomlychad  —  July 16, 2011 — 9 Comments

It’s late at night. I should be sleeping, but my mind won’t let this go. I wonder is this all there is? My heart races. Though fatigued, sleep refuses to come. I’ve got to get this off my chest. I’m not getting any younger.

At forty-two, they tell me I’m “middle-aged,” but in my mind this is mere euphemism for: you don’t have much time. There are less years ahead than have gone by.

Life is passing me by.

I have been with the same company for nineteen years, eleven of those in the same position (tech support). At the time it seemed the sensible thing: steady job, good benefits. Insofar as it goes, this has been true: my family and I have been well-provided for, and I’m thankful to God for the job I have. I am blessed.

But…

There is little life in it, and nowhere to go. As someone who enjoys new challenges, there are precious few, and much of the job has been reduced to rote. Without a college degree, my growth potential is almost nil.

I want to be a quitter, but don’t know how.

I’ve always dreamt of writing, and have indeed achieved some measure of success as a blogger within the last year, but truth be told: I lost–no, I gave–a quarter century to fear. I spent so long believing the lie that I didn’t have what it takes that it’s hard to break free of the fear.

And fear is a demon that threatens to shipwreck my dreams. And I’m not the only one: my wife is afraid, too. So afraid that, in a moment of pique, she lashed out the other night, told me I was too old, that I didn’t have what it takes. (A practical woman, I now believe she was telling me that dreams don’t pay the bills).

For a moment, I was a young man again, being scolded by my stepdad: “This [my writing] is no good. You don’t have it. Find something else.”

I believed that for so long, but in the last year I feel like I’ve got my life back. I feel alive in a way I never have before. When I write, time doesn’t seem to pass. I feel like this is what I was made for.

But at forty-two, I’m not sure that time is at all on my side. I want to learn to like a job I don’t love, but don’t know how. I want to leverage it, use it to support my dream, but still hustle, and not give it short shrift.

And when the time is right, I want to be a quitter, but I don’t have a plan. I just know I wasn’t made for this (the day job), and it’s sucking the life out of me. I can’t do this for the rest of my life. I want to do something that matters.

I want my life to matter.

It is for this reason, and those outlined above, that I want to be a quitter.

How about you? Do you want to be a quitter, too?

*A note on this post: it began its life as a comment on Matt Chambers’s blog. Over there, he’s giving away a ticket to Jon Acuff’s Quitter Conference. I desperately want to win.

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randomlychad

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Christ-follower, husband, dad, blogger, reader, writer, movie buff, introvert, desert-dweller, omnivore, gym rat. May, or may not, have a burgeoning collection of Darth Vader t-shirts. Can usually be found drinking protein shakes, playing with daughter, working out with his son, or hanging out with his wife. Makes a living playing with computers. Subscribe to RandomlyChad by Email

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  • My friend, you know that’s a lie from Satan. You are never too old to do what God wants you to do. Your job may pay the bills, but what He wants you to do will satisfy you. If He wanots to write, then write for Him and be sastisfied in that. I imagine Moses had many of the same thoughts for 40 years while herding sheep. Life had passed him by. He was too old. Things were great in Egypt. Why did he kills that taskmaster? But God used Him. Then there’s Caleb. He wanted to kill giants for God at 85. What giants do you want to slay for Him at 42?
    I say all this because I feel much the same as you.:)

    • i know, Larry--just laying my insecurities out there for the world to see. It's something I've dealt with for a long, long time.

      I get where you're coming from--have always loved God's reply to Moses's complaint about being "slow of speech and tongue": who made your mouth.

  • projectmathetes

    Psalm 37:4
    "Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart."

    So…does this mean He will grant you the desires of your heart, or is it that all along it has been He who has been putting the desires of your heart onto your heart?

    Only you can answer. Seek wisdom. Seek the Spirit. My Father does not play games of hide-and-seek with us, especially when we are burning with desire to DO SOMETHING that matters.

    God's grace and peace to you, Chad. He is a good God. He'll let you know.

    • I've long thought that about that verse--that He plants the desires, & brings them to pass.I will be praying, seeking His face. Thanks for your kind words!

      • projectmathetes

        He does plant the desires. He is not some heavenly Santa Claus who gives us the desires of our hearts. Could you imagine?

        No, this Scripture ties directly in with Philippians 1:6-
        "For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus."

        He started it. He will finish it. He has invested too much into us as sons to allow us to bring His plans and His will to shame. He's jealous for us like that, since He is, after all, our Father.

        He has you right where He wants you, Chad. This is a GREAT place to be! 🙂

        • You are quite correct in pointing out that He's not some heavenly vending machine dispensing answers to our prayers, rather He grants the desires of our hearts where our hearts are inline with His. This post was really about what it feels like to be this middle-aged Christian man on this side of eternity. Where I'm struggling.

  • I'm fast approaching 40 (near the end of this year!), and I can relate to so much of where you're coming from, Chad! There's a bit I'm struggling with, too, in regards to dreams that seem to have died (or are awfully close to it), and am I getting too old, yada, yada, yada.

    But because God knows my story from the end to the beginning, He has provision for me to reach that end from where I am *right at this moment*. He knew I'd be here, He knows what I need. And as you mentioned in another comment, when I'm inline with Him and His will, then things will move ahead as they should.

    • Michelle, thanks for your comment.Sometimes, I forget that very thing: that He knows.And much of my life has been a fight against the lie of insignificance.

  • I love reading these atircles because they’re short but informative.