Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Getting It Done

“Therefore, do not be anxious about tomorrow…” (Matthew 6:34, ESV).

My patient would not live forever with his malignancy, but was doing much better than I expected. Like is often the case with my patients, he reminded me of the truth of life.
“Do you remember Winnie the Pooh and Piglet?”
I replied that I did, but I hardly remembered any of the stories.
He continued,
“One day Winnie asked the Piglet, ‘Do you know what day today is?’
The Piglet answered correctly, ‘Today.’
Winnie then responded, ‘You know, today is my favorite day.’”

I’m quite sure my patient only paraphrased Milne’s story, but he was absolutely right in its meaning. When my wife’s mother was living, she also knew this truth.  Her favorite song was, “Day by day, and with each passing moment…”
I sing the song ---but I am so goal-oriented that I am nearly always looking to the future rather than living in the moment. And I bet I’m not the only doctor or student who is stuck in this mode.
“This is the day the Lord has made; I will rejoice and be glad in it.”---Well, maybe after I see these 30 patients, perhaps after I get through these exams, certainly after I retire.

How often have I finished my day, getting the work done, but not really doing the work?
Getting the work done is completing the lecture preparation, seeing the assigned block of patients, graduating from dental or medical school, getting my child off to college---completing a goal.
Doing the work is relating to students during the lecture, focusing on each patient and their needs under God, serving the Lord daily during my hard years of training, nurturing my child in character and in the Lord---living in the moment.

My patients get whacked in the head by their diseases and figure out the importance of now. What’s it going to take for me to focus on each patient I see like they are the only one who matters, to enjoy the face of my child without thinking of catching up, to chat casually with my spouse and let my time commitment demonstrate my love for her, to cry with a colleague in pain, to mention Jesus to my patient, to listen to my employee’s story, to focus on living this day rather than just getting it done?

Dear Father,
Help me change, to where I live a life in the moment, the only place I will ever actually be.

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