mr. irresponsible

image courtesy of flickr.com/creative commons

it’s 6:35 am and i’m wide awake. if it was a normal work day, that wouldn’t be a big deal. but it’s not. i’m on vacation. with my family. at the beach.

today is a big day at work. a project i’ve been working on for months launches today—without me. that’s very unusual. i’m the guy who sees things through. i’m the guy who is on standby and does whatever it takes to make things happen. i’m the guy everyone can count on.

but today, i’m not that guy. i’m mr. irresponsible.

i don’t like that name. one of my “strengths” is responsibility. today, mr. responsibility feels like mr. irresponsible.

in fact, i’m having to rely on others to make it happen. the reality is that there isn’t much i can do at this point. the responsibility lies with the skills and even job descriptions of others. but that still doesn’t make it easier.

in fact, today, i’m choosing to not carry that responsibility.

not because i’m a slacker. not because i don’t see things through. but because it’s not mine to carry at this point. i’ve done what i can do. and i have to lean into others to do what they can do.

that’s not easy for me. i feel guilty. i feel like i should email someone or offer to help with something. and i think for the first time in my 42 years, i’m beginning to see that doesn’t make me a valuable worker. it doesn’t make me indispensable. in fact, it makes me and even others around me, a little dysfunctional, unhealthy. they don’t get a chance to do what they need to do. they don’t learn to carry the weight of responsibility if i so often carry it for them. they don’t get a chance to shine and to prove just how amazing and valuable they are.

i’m sure there will be glitches. i’m sure there will be things that i need to take care of next week when i return. but for now, i have to choose to let those things rest in the hands of someone else.

maybe this is part of God shaping my perception of who i am. maybe this is part of Him undoing any false sense of “tim” that may be linked to what i do, instead of the core of who He made me to be.

because there’s something sacred in this choice—for me, for this time. there’s something divine in this surrender.

so today, while my brain whispers i’m irresponsible, i’m going to choose to believe that is a lie. that i have been responsible. i have worked hard over the past four months, and done what needed to be done to get this project to this point. and that trusting others to do what they do best is one of the best things i can do—for the project, for my co-workers and even for me.

the contents on this site are © 2011 tim walker. all rights reserved. for permission to reprint or publish this content elsewhere, please contact me through this blog.

3 Responses

  1. i always start sentences with a capital letter, and i have never typed “i” before to refer to myself before. i can’t help it. it’s the way i was raised, but there’s a first time for everything, i suppose. that’s not why i decided to comment. i decided to comment to say i especially like the paragraph (okay, pseudo-paragraph) that begins “maybe this is part of God shaping…” because from my advanced perspective (70 years), i have decided that life begins at forty and everything you do before that is just preparation. so if you are beginning to realize that God is changing your perception of who you are at 42 (toddler stage), i can’t wait to hear your perception of who you are at 70 (of course, i’ll be 98 then). everything before forty amounts to getting the building blocks into place. your life in God is just beginning.

    note to self: stop using so many parentheses….

    1. thanks for the response, bob. i know i’m kind of odd with the lowercase “i,” but in some odd way it helps me distinguish my own personal thoughts from what i do every day as an editor. and it also helps the ideas flow more easily. i know, it’s still odd. 🙂

      also thanks for the insight about the 40s and beyond. it actually makes me very hopeful for the years to come.

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