Sunday, February 15, 2015

weekly encouragement

love that is too painful was not love

wow at ailee's voice. awesomeness. 

16th February 2015: The Stands are Full

With all these witnesses to faith around us like a cloud, we must run with resolution the race for which we are entered. Hebrews 12:1 (NEB)
Today you must run another lap in the race of life. Maybe you're tired and dreading to run. Or perhaps you are discouraged or depressed and wonder how you can ever manage to put one foot in front of the other. Or perhaps you feel that you are running in a dry desert, alone, where no one cares or sees, unheralded and unsung.
Well, it's not like that. Actually you are running in a great stadium. The stands are filled to capacity with thousands of onlookers (a cloud of witnesses); and believe it or not, they are all cheering for you.
Take a quiet look at some in the stands -- mean and women who have run before, with success, because of their faith. There's Moses -- remember the Red Sea, and Abraham -- remember Isaac and the ram. And there's Joseph -- remember the prison, and Rahab -- the wall, and David -- Goliath, and Daniel -- the lions, and Paul -- the prison, and Luther -- the door, and Livingstone -- Africa, and Elliot -- the Aucas.
Look carefully, you may see some from your family, your church or your medical colleagues there. You are not running alone, in a desert or a vacuum.
Finally, look carefully again. In a special place, apart from all the other thousands, sits One who has also run before and conquered. In his hands are nailprints. His brow is scarred. He was tested in all points like you, but never sinned. He endured the cross and despised the shame. he is vitally interested in you and your race. He is encouraging you on.
So think of him...; that will help you not to lose heart and grow faint (Heb 12:3).

keep on running. and just pray that somehow i come out of this smelling like roses & all my patients survive. that's all. everything else is a bonus.

Monday, February 9, 2015

is not man's life on earth no better than tired drudgery?

when i heard these words during mass today, my first thoughts were: the author HAS DONE A NIGHT CALL BEFORE! and probably in im too. haha. 

the following amazingly inspiring reflection comes from the archbishop (and thanks a for sharing this with me :)) 


SCRIPTURE READINGS: JOB 7:1-4, 6-7; 1 COR 9:16-19, 22-23; MK 1:29-39
When Job remarked, “Is not man’s life on earth nothing more than pressed service, his time no better than hired drudgery? Like the slave, sighing for the shade, or the workman with no thought but his wages”, isn’t it true that he was but expressing the frustrations and disappointments with life of many people?  Isn’t it true that for many of us, life is a real boredom because it is simply going through the routine of work, eat, sleep and play?

Yes, life does not seem to have meaning.  Making a living and making money alone cannot bring us life.  Eating and recreation alone cannot give us fulfillment in life.  That is why; many of us drift through life, living on the superficial level, the level of animals.  We wake up each day, not knowing what to do next.  We are so bored and so we want to get back to bed.  But when we are in bed, we cannot sleep.  We have no vision or direction. Thus Job expressing his frustration sighed, “Lying in bed I wonder, when will it be day? Risen I think, how slowly evening comes! Restlessly I fret till twilight falls.”  Such is the irony of life.

(actually no... when i finally sleep, i sleep really well on night calls. those precious hours of sleep til the morning rounds come.. but then there are those nights i prowl the ward checking and rechecking my stuff just to make sure i dont miss things and sleep eludes me) 

The good news is that God wants to raise us up and give us meaning. The liturgy invites us to be open to God who comes to give us a sense of direction and purpose especially when we lose connection with ourselves.  Like Job who prayed in his disillusionment, we too must pray from the depth of our hearts saying, “Remember that my life is but a breath, and that my eyes will never again see joy.”  This prayer made with confidence will be heard.  How can this be a reality?

If we were to recover our meaning in life, then we must look to Jesus and St Paul.  For in them, they show us that the meaning of life is not to be found in work in itself but in having a vocation.  Both readings from the New Testament impress upon us that Jesus and St Paul, because they were people who had a vocation and mission, were also people who lived lives of joy, enthusiasm, dynamism, commitment and meaning.  In fact, so vibrant were their lives that they did not even have time to think about their own needs.

What, then, is the difference between work and vocation?  It is work when we are only concerned about earning a living for ourselves.  If work is seen purely as a means to be remunerated so that one can acquire more wealth, power, status and recognition, work becomes drudgery.  One might satisfy one’s physical needs but not one’s spiritual and personal needs.  He is not working for a higher goal in life.

The truth is that because our goal is finite, the happiness we attain, if at all, falls short of what we are seeking in our spirit.  We are not doing something that we like or meaningful.  Our spirit longs for something greater.  We know that we are meant for something more.  Hence, we have to confront ourselves by asking the fundamental question: are we seeking for security or meaning?  Security can be provided to some extent by having money, power etc.  Even then, there is no real security.

To live well we must live for meaning.  Not only just meaning but the higher the meaning, the more alive we become. When there is meaning and purpose, no sacrifices would be too difficult.  With meaning, we can forget about our security.  That is why Jesus, the apostles and many missionaries could leave everything and their security for the higher values of life.  This is because their meaning is their security.  So long as there is meaning, there is real security.  Where can this meaning be found?  When we search the vocation and mission that God has given to us in life!

What is a vocation?  A vocation implies a calling in the depth of our being to do something for the good of humankind.  This calling is translated as possessing a sense of mission.  St Paul certainly felt a deep calling from within to proclaim the Good News.  So a vocation speaks of an imperative within us, urging us to do something for the good of others.  This calling comes from within, not from without; not drawn out by people but stirs up from within by God who places that desire in our heart. A vocation therefore always implies a commitment not out of duty but with a sense of mission, like Jesus.

Secondly a vocation implies that we are given a transcendent calling.  A vocation is our calling from God to serve the people of God.  It is an invitation from the Lord to each one of us to have a sense of service to others around us.  A vocation goes beyond earning money or seeking for power or for things.  But we work basically for the service of love.  Of course, the labourer is worthy of his hire.  But money becomes only a means for us to live a decent life but not a luxurious life.  For happiness cannot come from money and luxury but meaningful service to people. In this way, our work becomes our meaning.  It is a direct encounter of God in the work not indirect as in our career.  In fact, the remuneration becomes just the opposite and secondary to what we are doing.

Thirdly, we know it is a vocation when do everything with freedom.  So freedom for love must be complemented by freedom in love.  When it is a vocation, it is chosen freely.  It must be a choice to serve not out of obligation or compulsion but out of conviction and love.
When a service is done in freedom and in love, we choose to become all things to all men because losing ourselves; we learn to empathize with them.  Such service makes us free to feel with others because we have forgotten about ourselves.

Finally, a vocation is primarily in response to the love of God for us.  Without this prior experience, the divine call would not be stirred up within us.  \When God touches us, we respond with love in service because of our gratitude. Only when we are conscious of God’s love and blessings for us, will we begin to use our good health and other resources for the good of others.   The reason why some of us do not have the capacity to reach out in love and service to others is because we are not grateful for what we have.  The lack of ingratitude boils down to the fact that we have not or are not aware of the love of God for us.  Only grateful people can love because when they realize how they have been loved unconditionally in spite of their nothingness, they too want to share that love in the same way to those who are not deserving of love.

And what is empowering in such a love is that the effect of such outward looking attitude makes us forget about ourselves.  We begin to focus on others more and more. If we are always thinking about our needs and ourselves, it is because, like a sick person, we tend to be inward looking and thinking of our pain.  But when we begin to reach out, we forget about our own problems or at least see them in perspective.  So service is the way to bring us out of our problems and misery.  It adds meaning and challenge to our lives.

Today, let us find inspiration and encouragement from the lives of Jesus and St Paul.  The gospel today gives us a typical day in the life of Jesus showing us what a life of vocation entails.  Certainly we can see that the life of Jesus was surely interesting and fulfilling.  This too was the kind of life that St Paul lived.  He lived a life that was totally dependent on the Lord.  He was always a man of mission with a sense of urgency in him.  In fact, St Paul compares our mission and goal to runners taking part in the race.  “So that is how I run, not without a clear goal; and how I box, not wasting blows on air.  I punish my body and bring it under control, to avoid any risk that, having acted as herald for others, I myself may be disqualified.”

Not only must we have a goal, St Paul says that there is a difference between that of the world and ours: “Every athlete concentrates completely on training … to win a wreath that will wither whereas ours will never wither.” (1 Cor 9:24-27)  Indeed, we must find a mission in life, a vocation that helps us to live beyond this world or for ourselves.  Unless we live for God and for others, we cannot find true meaning because we fail to go beyond ourselves.  Yes, without a sense of mission or vocation in life, everything loses its meaning and connection.  By choosing to live our life as a vocation with a sense of mission, then our lives become integrated, wholesome and purposeful.  Such a life is always inspiring, liberating and meaningful.

:) so inspiring. keep on running & hoping that one day the picture of the endpoint comes. the endpoint being the place where God wants me to be. (and yeah as i read this, i kept thinking DOCTORS WITHOUT BORDERS)

Saturday, February 7, 2015

keeper of the stars

"Keeper Of The Stars"

Against all hope in hope I believe,
That You Lord are faithful,
You're good and You are able.
When it seems impossible to me,
Your promises are all true,
What You said I know You will do.

And I am sure
Your love endures

I'm giving it all
To the Keeper of the stars
I won't be afraid
Cause You're holding every part
Of this world
And my heart trusts You that
You won't let me fall
I'm giving it all
To the Keeper of the stars

Against all hope in hope I believe,
Your plan for me is perfect
And You show me it's all worth it.
With eyes of faith You teach me to see,
And lighten every dark night,
Knowing it will be alright.

mopostings are firming up :) dream combi of postings! i'll be totally unstoppable after that. not to mention my most awesome fallback of all time. hahaha. d asked what if i'm not meant to do any of this. HOW I KNOW. million dollar question. see the thing is that it's going to be ok in the end but the problem is you dont know where is the end. but whatever happens it's going to be okay. and i will become better at plug setting. eventually. HAHA. just FYI i'm much better now than as a med student. lol. anyway in my POV, the more training i get it's better. maybe in the end i'm really going to join drs without borders & fulfil my childhood dreams. i mean i dont think i was initially enticed into medicine by the thought of daily morning ward rounds. the other day we had a new reg for 1 day before we all went off to diff postings and he was the nicest reg EVER plus hilarious. he was like 'you know before this i did a&e. and i wonder. why does anyone want to do morning rounds everyday?' hahaha. 

ANYWAY to conclude, i know what i have to do for the next 18 mths of my life at least. after that, i really dont know what i have to do. i'll think about it when i get there. but one thing i know for sure, i was meant to do medicine. which part is not clear, but it's going to be someplace where i can do God's work and help people. there has to be a reason why i ended up going all over the world and endured all this random stuff just to get to this point. this one yr of training has really been excellent and levelled me up ++. i have much more levelling up to do & looking forward to it. really want to be good at it whatever it is i do. guess i just pray for acceptance & grace to find what is it i'm meant to do, get into that & do it well. and if that requires superhuman amounts of effort and dedication coz that's something really hard to get into, then so be it. i think all things require a lot of effort and dedication if you really want to do it well actually. so either way. maybe i should start by learning handties for my impending labor ward call HAHA. 

get back up

You turned away when I looked you in the eye,
And hesitated when I asked if you were alright,
You saw it comin' but it hit you outta no where,

And there's always scars
When you fall back far
We lose our way,
We get back up again
It's never too late to get back up again,
One day you will shine again,
You may be knocked down,
But not out forever

You're rolled out at the dawning of the day
Heart racin' as you made you little get away,
It feels like you've been runnin' all your life
But, why? Oh why?
So you've pulled away from the love that wou'd've been there,
You start believin' that your situation's unfair

We get back up,
It's never too late
You may be knocked down but not out forever!
You gonna shine again
strong enough - matthew west
You must, You must think I'm strong
To give me what I'm going through

Well, forgive me
Forgive me if I'm wrong
But this looks like more than I can do
On my own

Well, maybe
Maybe that's the point
To reach the point of giving up
'Cause when I'm finally
Finally at rock bottom
Well, that's when I start looking up
And reaching out
I know I'm not strong enough to be
Everything that I'm supposed to be
'Cause I'm broken
Down to nothing
But I'm still holding on to the one thing
You are God and
You are strong when
I am weak

I can do all things
Through Christ who gives me strength
And I don't have to be
I don't have to be strong enough

i think i understand now. totally trusting is not just sitting back completely and waiting. it's about putting your talents to good use. so if you happen to have a talent for salvaging desperate situations at the eleventh hour with determination & strength that you know can't possibly come from just yourself, then you should use it. and it does come in useful when begging for scans and procedures i must say.

dont get me wrong, i totally understand the grand plan. i really do. it's just that the part of me that doesnt think rationally doesn't understand it. sigh the human heart isnt very smart sometimes. it just reacts in funny ways. SO ANYWAY. one more chance, i'm bringing everything i got. & thank God for over the years i've accumulated loads of compensatory reflexes that usually kicks in at the point i only have one chance. yeah sadly consistency is not my thing unfortunately. determination! thats my thing. i guess totally trusting is trusting that when you hit rock bottom, He will ensure that you land on your feet and that you have the capability to climb back up again. 

Monday, February 2, 2015

on starthrowers

you know i strongly believe in the starfish theory
i just need to make a difference to one starfish a day. as long as it makes a difference to that starfish, it's enough
in this year, i'm going to become the best starfish-thrower i can be
that's my resolution
i don't care what it takes
it's going to be difficult, no question about that, but what isn't difficult anyway?

Sunday, February 1, 2015

beyond me

who am i

"Who Am I"

Who am I, that the Lord of all the earth
Would care to know my name,
Would care to feel my hurt?
Who am I, that the Bright and Morning Star
Would choose to light the way
For my ever wandering heart?

Not because of who I am
But because of what You've done.
Not because of what I've done
But because of who You are.

I am a flower quickly fading,
Here today and gone tomorrow.
A wave tossed in the ocean.
A vapor in the wind.
Still You hear me when I'm calling.
Lord, You catch me when I'm falling.
And You've told me who I am.

I am Yours, I am Yours.

Who am I, that the eyes that see my sin
Would look on me with love and watch me rise again?

Who am I, that the voice that calmed the sea
Would call out through the rain
And calm the storm in me?

Whom shall I fear?
Whom shall I fear?
'Cause I am Yours, I am Yours.

gs is coming to an end. it has literally been an epic journey, and there are a thousand loose ends still to tie up on the last day. goodness only knows how i'm gonna do that. the next 3 months is going to be a whirlwind of delivering babiez, kinda looking forward to that. i mean part of why i came into med sch is to do all that cool stuff but in m4 we were posted to a place which had hardly any nvds -_- haha. also who knows if one day i really end up as a rural doctor (one of my childhood dreams.. along with doctors without borders and neurosurg), i may well need to know how to deliver babies. and also research and mugging for exams. 

residency results is coming out anytime soon, i can safely say that i'm totally ok with getting in (duh) if God thinks i'm ready, if not i'm totally ok with getting more experience (my greatest fear is on the first day as a resident and people are like HUH HOW COME YOU DONT KNOW THIS. RESIDENT RIGHT?) and getting better at bld taking and LPs. and though i love little kids i dont mind a few extra months to spend exploring my childhood dreams of NEUROSURG as well and practicing intubating (in a controlled, planned manner). in short there are many advantages to one more year of experience& im secretly looking forward to bettering myself before plunging into the real thing (much as i love it). i'm not really one who loves to plunge into things unprepared & the gold-rush attitude of m5 has long, long passed. if anything HOship has made me thoroughly aware of the basic importance of surviving each day, as well of the importance of first impressions & doing what you do well. ie, there's no point going early into something and sucking thoroughly at it. (that's colored by gs though hahaah. just sayin') that said there are many times in life where you do things you arent prepared to do like the first time i offed drains/ CVP/PICC i was terrified but no choice right, someone has to do it and that's the ho. i remember misa and i followed kj to take out our first drain HAHA. that first hpb posting was really such a ball. 

the gs hos have made the past 3 mths really fun i must say. the breast and vascular friday night TGIF dinner was tops too wahaha. 

here i go tacklin my massive to do list. 


3 more days of AL! a much needed break cant decide if i shld just sleep. or do research. or study ecg. omg how how or do the mountain o...