Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Creation and Career

" God saw all that He had made, and it was very good." Genesis 1:31aNIV

A friend of mine recently walked into a bank hoping to open an account. What would usually be a routine matter turned out to be a two-hour wait due to the diminished number of staff, job cuts and the economic downturn. When she finally got to speak to the usually professional and competent bank officer, her sympathetic greeting unleashed a series of pent up complaints about her job. The bank officer ended with, " I'm told that I should be thankful I still have a job but sometimes I wish they would take their job and … It's killing me!"

Do doctors ever feel that way about their work? Do you ever feel that way? When doctors are given a chance and provided a safe forum to gripe, they might also have a litany of woes ranging from overwork, unrealistic schedules, poor work conditions, inadequate ancillary help and more. In our last attending physician fellowship, Dr. Sedric Cheung led a bible study on the subject of work from God's perspective. Taking us through the first several chapters of Genesis depicting God's work of creation, we took note of how God approached His work. After each day of creation, the Lord looked at His work for that day and said it “was good" and at the end He said, "it was very good." He then took the seventh day, which we know as the Sabbath day, and rested.

It is clear that God enjoyed His work each day, not just the result, but also the effortless and orderly process as He spoke creation into place. All of creation, culminating with man being made in His own image reflected a part of Him. The artistry and diversity of the heavens, earth, flora and fauna speaks to His creativity and Masterful design.

In Genesis 4, we look at man’s work and see the products of that work presented as an offering to God. Such offerings glorify God but they also work wonders in molding the hearts of men. By handing over to God the fruits of our labor, we both recognize the Source of our blessings and demonstrate our trust that He will provide.

The blessing of work as God originally intended for man was marred by the fall of Adam and Eve in their sin. After mankind sinned, work became a source of toil and the land did not yield fruit readily but was mixed with thorns and thistles. And thus we have the thorns in our side and the thistles that obscure the original significance of work. We should not be surprised at these thorns and thistles in our work as doctors.

B looking at the Creation as a model for our career we can, as God’s children, draw encouragement from the five questions we were asked to meditate upon by Dr. Cheung.

1) How can we enjoy our work?
2) How can we rest from it?
3) How can we see that it is good?
4) How do we make an offering of it?
5. How can we be creative in it?

By answering these biblically generated questions, we can begin to capture and see the intent of God in our work as doctors.

Elaine L. Eng, M.D.

Dear Lord,
Thank you so much for setting an example to us in how You performed Your work in creation. We are in awe of the goodness, beauty and orderliness of it. And we are touched by the love and joy You put into it for our sake.
Help us when we are mired in the thorns and thistles of work to be able to lift our heads to You and Your Word in order to see Your plan for our careers. And may it be an offering to you. In Jesus' name. Amen

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