Friday, January 9, 2015

thinking out loud

20th January 2015: Day off that never was!

He said to them: `Come away by yourselves to a lonely place, and rest awhile!' For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. Mark 6:31
No leisure! How well we understand that phrase when so often we lose our half-day, or our plans for an evening out are spoiled by crises. But the Lord was watchful of his disciples' needs and arranged for them to have a day off. But read what happened (Mk 6:31-56)!
It seems that the only time that they had to themselves was during the row across the lake. The rest of the day was spent with the crowds who had pursued Jesus round the shore; and when the precious hours had gone, there were still 5,000 mouths to feed. Can you sense their disappointment and frustration? What was Jesus trying to teach them? Was it that brisk physical exercise could be reinvigorating? That being in a different environment was stimulating? That though they could not get away from finding work for him, his work is itself refreshing? That it was better to share what they had -- be it their precious free time or their iron rations -- than to keep it to themselves? That even though the day seemed to be ending in frustration and exhaustion, he was still able to dispel fear and fatigue? If these were the lessons he wanted to each them they seem to have missed the point: `they did not understand' (v52).
He is no less watchful of our needs than he was of theirs. He is interested in the amount of off-duty we have, and how we spend it. He understands the tiredness and the disappointments because he has experienced them himself. If things do not work out just as we have planned, it does not mean that he has forgotten or that his plans have gone wrong. As Lord of our lives he is Lord also of our leisure. He wants to share our off-duty as well as our days on call. He wants to show us that he can meet our need, and the need of others through us. He can still work miracles in his disciples' time off -- if they spend it with him.
Lord Jesus, please teach me how I ought to spend
my off-duty, whether alone or in a crowd, in activity
or in rest. And when I lose my leisure time through
no fault of my own, may I now your companionship,
your creativity and your renewal.
hahaha this is really cute. i like the part that says "what was Jesus trying to teach them? was it that brisk physical exercise could be invigorating?" LOL that sounds like calls or daily running from points A to B. 

maybe the message is that it's in the random sparks of humanity in between all this detritus that we find God. in the precious time off, or in the spending the precious time-off knowing you are sorting out patients (like last month). last month i didnt have much time off to be honestly. i was chronically sleepy and sometimes we exited at like 1130pm. but i still loved it somehow. 

i guess work is work no matter where one work & no matter the nature of work. even if the job can sometimes seem very trivial and unimportant, even if one is essentially doing clerical work that one feels is below one (btw i dont mean the usual ho work. i mean physically carrying files from point a to b. once is fine. everyday is er... not what i signed up for). 

what i do enjoy is making friends with patients and their families. like just talking kindly to people to reassure them of things & being able to convince them to go for investigations/ have blood taken. the other day on my way home i bumped into a relative of a patient i had seen on call, he waved to me and self-updated me on how things had progressed and thanked me for my help (!) haha twas nice. i didnt do much really except handing him back to the primary team next morning hahaha. yesterday i was reassuring some patient and her relative of something and feeling quite warm fuzzies as the aunty smiled benevolently at me... then suddenly her smiling daughter said "... oh and how old are you? 21?" LOL. 

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