Saturday, April 18, 2015

there must be

24th April 2015: Brinkmanship

About the fourth watch of the night he came to them... Mark 6:48
We all have a touch of the 'brinkman' about us, some more than others! Out of bed at the last possible moment -- toast munched, as we scurry down the corridor -- wet towel and black coffee as we swot in the all-too-short months before an exam -- midnight oil burnt for the report due yesterday -- the results not obtained, the X-rays not fetched, the investigations not done, that send everybody else, quite unfairly, into a panic-stricken fever of activity! O the misery to ourselves and the nail-biting anxiety of others of the vicious circle of 'never doing today what we can possibly leave till tomorrow!'.
Have you ever noticed how often God seems to act right at the last moment? Yet his brinkmanship is of a totally different order. He is never in a hurry, yet, in spite of our impatient apprehension, he is never late. His seeming delays are never because of a lack of care for us. It was because he saw their heavy going against a head wind that he came to them about the fourth watch of the night, walking on the sea (Mk 6:48). (Would we have left it until the morning?). How typical of us that they were surprised and frightened by his coming and nearly let him pass by without inviting him into the ship! It was the very night before Herod's proposed execution of Peter that the angel rescued him from prison. All honour to Peter's faith that he could spend his last night on earth asleep, chained to two soldiers (Acts 12:6).
Why does God seem to leave it so late before he intervenes? Is it that he can only act when we have exhausted our puny resources? Or that he will not share his glory with anyone else, and we and the world have got to see how he alone did it (1 Cor 1:28-29)? Is it to strengthen our faith in his unslumbering care (Ps 121:4)? Or perhaps to bless us more than we had ever thought possible (Jn 11:5-6, 15, 40)?
'In the fullness of time' -- his time -- 'God sent forth his son...' (Gal 4:4 AV). If he could do that at the right time, can we not trust him with the events of our lives?
Lord, teach me that sometimes you have to wait
until I have come to the end of myself
before you can bless me,
until I have finished trying my own plans
before you can show me yours.
Help me to recognise your perfect timing,
and to know that you will never let me down.

6th May 2015: D G -- Deo Gloria -- to the glory of God.

Whatsoever you do, do all to the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31
I never did like examinations. I always came at the very last moment and rushed away as soon as I could. I thought little of those who claimed that examinations were harder for the examiner than for the students, but I had to become an examiner before I came across the two initials DG at the top of some answer papers.
They puzzled me. After a while it became clear that it was the mark of Catholic students. D G -- Deo Gloria -- to the glory of God. It challenged me. Here was a group of people who were willing to advertise their answer as being to the glory of God. I often wish that I had had the courage and the knowledge to do this as an undergraduate. In order to be able to put D G on a written paper one has to be confident that all the necessary hard work has been done beforehand and then the answer committed in prayer to the glory of God. Not only at times of testing but in all our lives everything we do should be D G. Whether we take a history in outpatients, examine an old lady in the wards, set up an intravenous drip on a new born baby, counsel a disturbed adult, all should be done in a manner that will glorify God.
I like the term St Paul uses of himself: an ambassador for Christ (2 Cor 5:20). It may be difficult to think of ourselves as ambassadors in the middle of a general practice surgery or at 3am doing an appendicectomy, or at 1.45pm still doing morning outpatients, but that is what we are. God can use us for his glory wherever we are if we are loyal and obedient. His ambassadors are rarely in high places, but often in the undesirable parts of the world, and working at unsociable hours. 
Lord, help me never to fall into the trap
of thinking that 'the grass is greener'
in the place where you have not put me,
or that I could serve you better
in someone else's circumstances,
or with the gifts and personality of another.
Grant that this day I may bring glory to your name,
by doing my best for your sake, just as I am, and where I am.

9th May 2015: My Shepherd (5)

He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Psalm 23:3
The retrospectoscope is a wonderful instrument for appreciating the fact of the Lord's leading. Those at the start of their careers can be encouraged by the life stories of others -- it is true that he leads. Sheep have to learn to know and respond to their shepherd's voice, and the ways in which the Good Shepherd leads are also learnt by experience and will have individual variations. We can be sure that we are not hearing his voice if we set foot on paths of unrighteousness or even of self-righteousness. The paths of his righteousness may at first sound narrow and forbidding to the uninitiated, but assurance of the Shepherd's constant care for his flock must surely assure us right at the start that he has our interests at heart. We may stumble and stray, but only as we find the paths where he leads shall we continue to hear the calling of his voice, to see the print of his foot and to be assured that we are not setting out into the unknown alone.

Doctors in training change jobs more than most other workers. Do we pray about which of the many doors we should try? When each house-job has scores, if not hundreds, of applicants, can we trust him to lead us to the post of his choice? The experience we glean, the colleagues we have and the contacts we make will all become woven into the pattern of our lives and can have important implications for the future. He alone sees the end from the beginning and is thinking today of our tomorrow. How vital that we ask him to lead the way and then follow. It is very likely for each of us that there will be times of great uncertainty and even of unemployment. Closed doors may be one way by which our paths are being directed. These setbacks need not mean that we are off his path: each of us needs to learn the value of developing patience in waiting upon God. It requires practise to keep looking to him expectantly, despite delays or dashed hopes. Each experience of his leading will add to the encouragement to trust him in the next crisis. He has a way of suddenly making dead ends open up or finding ways around apparently impenetrable barriers. This comes as an affirmation of his presence and assurance of his leading. So often, too, he speaks to us clearly through his word if we have established the habit of reading it day by day. Words of encouragement or direction will be read which the attentive heart will recognise to be personally directed by his Spirit. At other times, an apparently chance encounter, an unexpected invitation, or a bewildering closure of a planned route can be his way of showing us the next step. We can rely on him to be faithful, and the reason for his faithfulness is his love. For him to behave otherwise would be inconsistent and contrary to his good name. When he leads and I follow, this brings praise and glory to him. It is indeed for his name's sake.

Friday, April 17, 2015

on crosses

a good reminder :)
sometimes we complain about the cross we bear not realizing that it’s preparing us for the dip in the road that God can see and we cannot…"

tell me one one more time

i survived night float! now all i have is 2 bridging calls, 1 public holiday call and 2 weeks of gynonc and im freeee
the patient who said this morning as i took fbc from her (since the nurses who very kindly tried to take it to help me out didnt manage to get it) "go home! have a good rest!" was so nice!! as was the very entertaining lady i have been taking daily fbcs from every 6am this entire night float. (successfully first poke each time may i add). setting plugs successfully makes me feel so thoroughly satisfied :):) esp when its coz the nurses felt friendly and therefore tried once beforehand first (the level of gratitude i feel when nurses actually take blood in this posting is really amazing. who would have thought. its actually good this way i guess coz then you go around feeling grateful instead of telling them 'uhh why not you guys keep trying ill try to go once i can' like we usually do then by the time we get there they've set it alr haha). yeah so when i get plugs that someone tried before and couldnt the level of satisfaction is like +1000 xp. who would have thought this day would come!

my new jam - tell me one more time by jinusean

Sunday, April 12, 2015

pre night float thoughts on ho year

this year began with my abstract being accepted to a conference and ended with me winning best speaker (like for the first time in years. which is also because i havent really debated much for yrs. haha. but nonetheless its still really special to me!). in three weeks assuming i survive my night float, gynonc and finish my logbook, i'll magically wake up one day an mo. 

some people have butterflies in their stomach when thinking about big life events like this. me, i have a stash of butterflies in my ho bag and i know which ward the secret stash of butterflies is

i wont deny that initially when thinking about 6th april i thought that its the third time and everything and hey God always pulls out miracles for me like rabbits out of a magician's hat! and He does and indeed i am grateful for it. but sometimes things dont come exactly at the times we suspect/ hope they might. the first time i was really very very upset. because i really had truly believed with the last vestiges of my childlike innocence, had truly fixed my heart on the notion that yes, it's impossible, but somehow i always got the impossible things. that the fact that it was impossible means i would get it. the second time wasn't too nice either, the way i found out at like 6am in the morning in a darkened room as we all sat in radio meeting wasnt exactly shining with lights at the end of the tunnel. this time wasn't really the third time - yet haha. it was literally an encouragement to keep on going

and this easter was everything i had hoped for. a post call easter sunday, an encouraging sermon like a hundred-plus drink and banana to help one on the neverending half-marathon of life. that despite still having to keep on going at least one is at peace and loves what one is doing currently. 

debate is to me a shining example of God showing his overflowing grace. everytime i meet josh or sean it reminds me very acutely of the times i spent with nic/ diane/ the rest, huddling outside classrooms waiting for what seemed like the verdicts of our lives. i really spent so much of my teenage life predicated on someone else's judgements; literally what others thought of us. and the funny thing is now that we are all grown up then people keep jio-ing us for comedy debates, usually when we are post call. or sometimes pre-call. 

so yes, sometimes we dont get things exactly when we want it. but eventually his grace will come and it will be overflowing. i used to think my debating skills peaked in sec 4/ jc but actually i think with His Grace, the past 2 were actually the best. i dont think i could have ever imagined i was capable of such a feat. not just that i can't make lame puns (that's my daily hobby haha), or that i can't speak to large crowds (public speaking is my sole skill in life. if only i was nearly as good at blood taking.), it's just that the audience of first literally most of my med school cohort and then subsequently as j said "this is like the seat of power" is actually really intimidating (now i think about it.) 

so when all's said and done, i am really grateful for the blessings this year and the opportunity to do so much fun stuff, and i was honoured to have the random encouragement on the middle of a long marathon. heh. can't wait to go to ce (my childhood dream!!) ok maybe my dream when i was like 22+. i still felt like quite young then. hahah. the other day i was taking bld from this aunty and she was like "you are so young!! how old are you? 20? 21?". for the record i always got all her blood first time round ah ;p 

now i need to survive night float. urgh. 

Friday, April 3, 2015

thoughts on good friday

1. 11 years ago on a maundy thursday is when i first knew of the existance of God. it was when they process out slowly, candle-bearers and all and bring the Blessed Sacrament to the upper room. truly absence makes the heart grow fonder. it's only when you DONT have something, that you realize the importance of it. the church even looks exactly the same after all these years so the minute i stepped out of the lift yesterday it hit me '11 years ago, this is how i knew there was a God".

fastforward 11 years, i'm actually quite a well adjusted happy bunny. well yea i still sometimes wonder what i'm going to do with my life when i grow up, and times when we feel very harrassed in the mo room and times when nurses physically drag us into their cubicle to order stuff for them. but overall i think all the random vicissitudes of life have kind of jaded me to the point that most things are like "well ok" & you just roll with the curveballs & do whatever they want you to do. the funny thing about life is that things you expect to be slack actually tend to have a lot of hidden difficulties in them, and things you dreaded like difficult postings actually turn out to be very memorable and happy and satisfying. like surg onco!

and of course, the miracles in these 11 years have been nothing short of amazing. easter has for some reason featured very prominently in this, not really sure why. but in general, i guess ~spring and new beginnings is always something happy & to look forward to. the idea that there is light at the end of the darkness, that when it seems like something is over, it's actually not, is one of the greatest blessings in life. im not the sort to evangelise actually, but i really do believe that our faith is incredibly special because of how it's predicated on this.

from :)
Every year all over the world, people honor Good Friday as the day Jesus was crucified. It was the darkest, most painful, discouraging day of His life. To others, it looked as if it was over. It looked as if His enemies had gotten the best of Him. But God had other plans. Jesus’ enemies put Him in the grave on Friday, celebrating their victory, but Sunday morning was a different story. The grave could not hold Him. Death couldn’t contain Him. The forces of darkness couldn’t stop Him. On the third day, Jesus came out of the grave and said, “I was dead, but now I am alive forevermore.” 

One principle that the resurrection teaches us is that God will always finish what He started. No matter how dark it looks, no matter how long it’s been, no matter how many people are trying to push you down; if you will stay in faith, God will always take you from Friday to Sunday. You will see your day of breakthrough because God will complete what He started. 

If you are going through a dark time today, remember that your day of resurrection, your “Sunday,” is on the way! Keep standing, keep believing because soon you will rise up and embrace the victory He has in store for you! 

2. on buddies: one of the best things about being a ho is really fellow hos. i cant even begin to describe the feeling of having a buddy in a busy ward. and who can forget the epic first week of work in our entire lives, with junheng and co LOL. the camaraderie commiserating with fellow hos is really priceles. lh and i were angsting away in the mo room ytd then we realized the coder was there LOL. coder "ive been here in this room for many yrs and all the hos who have passed thru this ward are equally angsty. its like that one" pwahaha i nearly died of laughter. SO different from the chillaxing in last week's ward (where my co ho literally took 1 hr to hids 1 pt and fell asleep multiple times during that).

3. on debate: reading my old webjournals, i conclude that fourteen year olds tend to be extremely inmature, especially when they are very stressed about debate. that was probably also the peak of my debating techical skills HAHA. nowadays we all keep getting called to do comedy debates. for that matter they keep calling me to do debates too. usually these calls come postcall. LOL. sometimes i think it might be His way of showing me one can do medicine AND debate, but its hard to do law and be a doctor too. (not impossible though!) also kind of a compensation for allll that angst about debate. i think medlaw was the peak though. the 2 guys were the most hilarious & best teammates of all time. sometimes i still flashback to the serendipitiously captured pic of the exact moment when we won and our surprised faces :):) a million dollars couldnt buy that moment in a lifetime. i have yet moreee debates coming up. somehow being a ho on repeated night floats doesnt really predispose one to thinking up pithy comedic one-liners, but behold we shall dredge them up! at an undetermined time. very hopefully before 11th april. haha

2 more days to easter sunday! :)


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...