After 10 years of working in the Software field, here I, on my last day of work am looking back with happy contentment and looking forward with an anxious excitement! Looking back to the cherished times I enjoyed working in the twilight zone between human beings and technology. Looking forward to the adventurous journey of going to Seminary to pursue my call to become a Theologian, Writer and Preacher, where I will navigate through the world of timeless ideas to bring new meaning into the lives of people.
Looking back, there are three things I have cherished in my work life in the twilight zone.
1. Being a software Project manager, I have enjoyed working in the area of interface of people and technology – computers on one side and human relationships on the other, facing the best and the worst of both worlds (depending on the day :P).
2. Being a Subject Matter Expert in some specific domains, I have enjoyed helping people get to where they want to get to using the SME knowledge. There is a deep satisfaction in acquiring knowledge and then using that to help people achieve their goals.
3. Having started my work life in India, and then moving to Houston I have had the opportunity to build relationships at my work life with very diverse group of people. I have enjoyed having conversations with them about a lot of things ranging from politics to movies. Those are conversations and memories I will carry with me.
If there is one thing I will miss the most from my past 10 years of life working with/at MphasiS/AIG, it will be the people. (And of course, the easy pay checks too. :P).
Since the time I was in my late teens, the deeper questions of life have beckoned me to come explore them. I have been enthralled by the deeper questions pertaining to the meaning of life: Why is man the way he is – as Pascal calls him, “the thinking reed”, incredibly special but inexorably fragile; “a wretched angel” with so much good and bad comingled? How can man live the FULLEST life as Thoreau said, “live deep and suck out all the marrow of life”?
I always knew that at some point, I will have to embark on a journey into the world of ideas to explore my way through them and make my mark – the mark pointing to the Truth and bringing it to bear ‘fruit’ in the lives of people. Yes, ideas change people, starting from Pythagoras who talked about Truths being eternal to Foucault who said all truths were relative – mere tools in the hands of the powerful to manipulate the weak. As for me, to make my journey into the world of ideas, I choose Theology, or I should say Theology chose me! For it is in theology that philosophy, history and psychology blend with Revelation and Redemption into a strong portion that gives me the fortitude to wrestle with questions that bear fruit in the lives of people.
Being a Tolkien and Lewis fan, if I may borrow analogies from them to describe my venture, I would say that my new adventure is not unlike the adventure that Samwise Gamgee embarked on to rescue Middle Earth from Sauron and restore it to the true King. Nor is it unlike Sastha (from Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia – ‘Horse and His Boy’) who found himself hurled into a journey in the unknown realms to discover at the end that the point of his journey was to save his Father’s kingdom.The call to go on this journey has been indelibly written in my DNA. Like Bilbo (in Tolkien’s Hobbit) who with initial reluctance yet lasting resoluteness gives-in to his Tookishness (Took being his adventurous ancestor) to set about on a journey with Gandalf to rescue the lonely mountain from the Dragon Smaug, I too, with a resoluteness that has overwhelmed my reluctance am giving-in to my Call to go on my journey to glorify the King!
From a corner of my conscience
There has been a call
Steadily building into a crescendo
To build in the Kingdom, a castle
Not one of brick and mortar
But one of ideas and emotions
Of hearts and the minds
Of life and eternity
So I embark on an adventure
To explore deeper, that corner of my conscience
And build the castle that is comfort to the weary,
Built not on sand, but on the Rock!
The Rock that is the stone
The stone that will become a mountain
A mountain that will become a Temple-city
Filling the Cosmos in a crescendo of Praise!
(I am not so much of a poet. I know the last stanza may seem cryptic. Clue to interpret the last stanza: Imagery from the Book of Daniel and Revelation.)
PS: It is interesting that my last working day at my job is Oct-31 which is Reformation Day, the day when Luther nailed 95 thesis on the church door which got the ball rolling for the Protestant reformation movement. Of course, it is also All Saints Day when the Saints are celebrated as a symbol of the powers of evil being overcome – which actually has morphed into what we call the Halloween (for the good and the bad of it).