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Our New Year's Adventure

Posted by Tom Hallman at Jan 05, 2009 03:35 PM |

Our New Year's Adventure

Our legacy server cart, featuring the router at lower right

On New Year's Eve, our computer network went down. And we had no idea how to fix it.

At 10:30a on December 31st, I tried making a very small change to our network's router. Once I did, suddenly everything started failing. Our headquarters users couldn't get to the net. We couldn't see our web server. Reports of "I can't check email" started flooding in. "Oops," I thought.

I quickly changed everything back, and waited. Still nothing. When I logged onto the console of our email server, I could see that it was up. But it couldn't get to the rest of the world, and the rest of the world couldn't get to it.

I called Brian over. We traced through what I did and concluded that something else must be broken, so we restarted the router. When it came back up, things only got worse.

Over the next 48 hours, God taught me a lot. He taught me all about the need for a redundant router. He taught me about what the good ol' days were like before Google, when you had to use things like books and the painfully slow scientific method in order to solve problems! He taught me crazy networking technologies (and all the syntax and semantics that go with it) that I'd never before laid eyes on. But most of all, He reminded me of one of the biggest reasons I love my job.

It's the people.

Over those 48 hours, God used the brothers and sisters around me – not just technology – in order to solve the problem. I was amazed and humbled at how quickly my coworkers were willing to help. Now, I don't know what your job is like around the turn of the year, but I know that in DiscipleMakers, there's lots to do to prepare for the next semester, upcoming conferences, upcoming talks or worship-leading, the huge amount of work in the HQ involved in complying with tax regulations, the whole slew of projects and appointments that hadn't gotten done in December, and plenty more. But in the midst of all that, people were willing – even eager – to stop what they were doing and pray for us in the Systems Department. Many would stop by or call and offer us words of encouragement. (One even offered to take a pipe wrench to the router if it would help... we considered it.)

In the end, we managed to get everything back up and running. God used this experience to give us a better, more streamlined and much-more-well-understood setup than we'd ever previously had. He used it to grow Brian and I in unity, since we felt somewhat like we were in a foxhole together. He also used it to remind us Who is in control, and to Whom we must turn for our hope (hint: it's not Google.) "When disaster comes to a city, has not the LORD caused it?" (Amos 3:6b)

So thank you, Father, for giving me a work environment in which I can serve, be encouraged, and learn to love my coworkers and trust You more every day.

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God's goodness!

Posted by Josh McKamy at Jan 27, 2009 05:15 PM
Wow Tom that sounds like a crazy experience! Praise God for His work to get it fixed :). I like that picture too ;)

Oh and this systems blog thing is an amazing idea!