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Lynette .......... Caedmon .......... Libby .......... Tom

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Hours Away Before Vacation Begins

Somewhere along the road I have taken, something has changed within me. It came oh so silently... subtlely... I didn't even recognize I had changed until it became a comfortable part of me. When I was a teenager, there was a youthfulness within... carefree and capricious I was. I felt as if nothing ever got the best of me and the tugs of my heart led my emotions and actions, driving me to pursue life as my passions declared. Ahh, to be young again and so naive. Even during my college years, essentially I was young at heart. However, with the passage of time and the experiences of life, most importantly, the toll of being a physician in an acute setting such as mine where the fine line between life and death is so easily manipulated... I have grown "OLD" and not necessarily in a good way. In this microcosm of our society, what does it take for one to be an anesthesiologist practicing in a trauma center? The ability to make snap decisions that may have repercussions too hard to bear for the patients and their families, the ability to shut down your human feelings and face the futility in trying to save the good lives that can't be saved, yet instead going all-out in order to save the drug dealers and users who shoot and stab one another, keeping alive the criminals who shoot our police officers, dealing with the constant barrage of the very sick day in and day out, taking care of patients who don't care to take care of themselves and thereby wasting resources/time/money by manipulate the healthcare system, providing free care for undocumented aliens who cross the border to have "American" babies, seeing incompetent healthcare professionals harm those they pledge to care for... the list goes on and on. Is it a wonder how physicians can become so jaded? Now, these obviously are the bleaker aspects of the job. There are the bright moments as well... taking care of those I know, enjoying the camaraderie of fellow co-workers who daily join me in the operating theater battlefield, making a difference with excellent care when I take care of the elderly (who are at times so defenseless), and having the rare patient recognize the importance and value of what anesthesiologists do. This is a profession that often goes without thanks. When the job is done right, the patients don't really remember much of me. I don't do it for the recognition. The risks are high, being ever watchful and wary of needle sticks and blood/body fluid exposures from patients with infectious life threatening diseases. But, someone has to do it. This is my "playground" - this is where I play at work, enjoy the case complexity, rise to the challenges presented.

It is a wonder that we exist as who we are. So fallen and so sinful man is. The world we live in is so messed up. From the time of the Garden, when the 1st Adam gave up our unity with God by believing in the lie that we could be like Him... how sad God must have been at the marring of His unique creation. Yet, because we are made in His image, we retain the intrinsic ability to create as well. We too, in the medical profession, try to heal what has been diseased, though only in part, albeit never in the way that God can. Shocking the amazing grace and undeserved gift of the 2nd Adam, in Christ. We are but pawns who Satan has seduced into thinking are gods in this fallen world. The ultimate victory was won long ago in ages past. We just don't remember anymore, though God wrote it down for us to read. Imagine the day when we will be healed, renewed, resurrected.. in bodies indestructable. The question is - will we be there standing with Jesus on that day? or will we be cast out and destroyed forever? There is a cost in following Jesus... you will lose the world. He said simply to "Follow Me"... and gain Heaven. But He also gave heed that "it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God". As a "Christian", I have found that it is all too easy to quote scripture (expecially when blogging because I can just google the text) and get on a soap-box, but the actual application of it to my life goes too easily forgotten once I am done tapping on the keyboard. I say this, because when I think of the people I work with, so many claim to be on the side of Christ, yet in the daily battleground, I cannot tell friend from foe. At times, it is unclear which side I am on myself. How can we ALL say we belong to Christ when we are the ones murdering, theiving, lusting, adultering, hoarding, sueing, gossiping, deceiving, arguing, slandering and trying to one-up one another... our own Christian brothers and sisters? I see crosses hung around the necks of co-workers. Some even like to say they go to this church and that church. I hear Christian catch words and phrases inrermingled in their conversations. I see supposedly good people claiming the high and mighty Christian road when it is convenient, and when faced with confrontation they respond with hatred, subterfuge, and back-stabbing. I see people throwing one another under the bus in order to cover their own butts (to put it nicely). Is it a wonder Christians have a bad rap? This is who we are Monday through Saturday - this is what I see a "Christian" really is. The reality of who we really are is too hard to accept... so we don't. It is easier to believe that who we are - are those who but for a brief hour on Sunday morning somewhat dress up (or dress down in our contemporary churches), put on our artificial crosses and halos, and shake each others hands - winking at one another at just how good it is to be a part of this so-called Christian club and how good life will be when we all go to Heaven. This is the filthy mud and slime of the life we live.

"For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it."   Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?' And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.'
Matthew 7:14, 21-23

"But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does." If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this man's religion is worthless. 
James 1:22-26

As the great theologian from the 1800's, JC Ryle would put it... "A religion that costs nothing is worth nothing. A cheap Christianity, without a cross, will prove in the end a useless Christianity, without a crown."

I want to have the strength of the character of Pilgrim, in Paul Bunyon's timeless allegory, The Pilgrim's Progress... He (Pilgrim) answered, "Sir, I perceive, by the book in my hand, that I am condemned to die, and after that to come to judgment, and I find that I am not willing to do the first, nor able to do the second." Then said Evangelist, "Why not willing to die, since this life is attended with so many evils?"... Then said Evangelist, "If this be thy condition, why standest thou still?" He answered, "Because I know not whither to go." Then he gave him a parchment roll, and there was written within, "Fly from the wrath to come." The man therefore read it... So I saw in my dream that the man began to run... and ran on crying, “Life! life! eternal life!”

Oh, the road to eternity is so hard when we think so much of ourselves. Vacation is coming and I so look forward to a renewal of spirit and energy with family time, rest, and marveling at how God's creation through the majesty and beauty of nature testifying to who He really is.

1 comment:

  1. you may be interested in a book I've been reading this week - it is "Crazy Love" by Francis Chan. Web address is: www.crazylovebook.com


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