A celebrated neuro-oncologist from Duke was speaking recently at a dinner meeting in our town. He explained how he decided not to become a surgeon. His story went something like this:
“I scrubbed once for surgery as a medical student and found they only had 8 1/2 gloves, while I needed 7 1/2. No problem. The attending surgeon finished the case and left me with the resident to sew up the abdomen. I was whipping the stitches with one hand in beautiful style and holding the wound with the other. I finished the suturing skillfully and lifted my left hand; only to watch the fingertips of my glove stretch to the tissue I was sewing. I had sutured my glove to the wound. My resident just shook his head and I decided I wasn’t meant for surgery.”
Have you ever put on gloves too big for your hands?
I have. Doctor after doctor has.
God designed a purpose for each of our lives just like He designed our hands. There is for each of us a lifestyle that fits that purpose. As people of means, we live in constant danger that we might adorn a lifestyle that is too grand for the purpose He designed.
How big is my house? How abundant are my possessions? How large is my collection of responsibilities that have nothing to do with God’s plan for my life?
So many Christian doctors reach a time in their lives when they feel, “Now is the time that I will do something significant for God!”---only to discover that they have “sewn their oversized gloves to the wound,” that their possessions and responsibilities have become so great that they cannot pull free.
Certainly, all of our hands are different sizes. God has planned it that way to build His kingdom. We each have a glove size that is perfect for God’s plan. We each have a purpose-centered lifestyle that we should discover and adorn. And most of us are probably wearing over-sized gloves.
What to do?
If we are young enough to plan ahead, we need to measure our gloves before we put them on. “I will plan for a purpose-centered lifestyle and no more, so that I will be free to move when God calls.”
If we are older and find ourselves already overwhelmed, the only resolution is to draw boundaries for the future and to give generously until our gloves fit again.
Help me examine my lifestyle and fashion it to fit your purpose.