I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. John 10:10 (AV)
This well known verse, set in the context of a shepherd and his sheep, is usually interpreted in an emotional sense. Abundant life is 'joie de vivre' or 'life to the full' (NIV) or 'life in its fullness' (NEB).
But can we not go a little deeper by looking at the context? The first half of the verse provides a contrast. The thief comes to steal and to kill and to destroy. The shepherd comes to bring life. The difference is stark. The thief steals for his own purpose, perhaps to fatten and put on his own family table. He kills -- and the word used means to make a sacrifice presumably for ritual purposes. He destroys, and for what other reason than malice?
The shepherd came to the fold to bring life. But he did not want the sheep just to be able to exist. He wanted them to have the fullest possible life of which a sheep is capable. But can we define what this means to a sheep? What is a sheep's abundant life? We care told in the preceding verse. It means to 'go in and out, and find pasture'.
To 'go in' means security. The fold, guarded by a shepherd, offers safety for the sheep when wolves prowl and thieves are more likely to be active. Just so, we Christians are secure in Christ. No man shall ever be able to pluck us out of his hand.
To 'go out' spells liberty. We are free to wander where we like, always provided we keep within range of the Shepherd's voice and follow his lead. And if we happen to stray, he will be watching and will give us a call or come after us.
To 'find pasture' speaks of sustenance, of food and water enough for every day. Even in mountains or desert the Shepherd knows our need and provides for it.
If this is the kind of abundant life the Shepherd offers, there is only one thing to do, and that is to stick close by him.
half way reflections
what do i even say about the last two months. i guess they have been life-changing in a way. no they didnt make me change my life goals, they strengthened my resolve to keep on fighting even if i may be fighting a losing battle. they changed me. i've never been a sprinter, im a long distance runner (and even that is something learned & trained, not something i was born with..) so doing things VERY FAST AND EFFICIENTLY is not very me. despite my penchant for adrenaline and love for a&e fuelled by too much tv drama watching, i came to accept that sadly i might actually suck at the implementation of aforementioned emergency working life.
with that acceptance and having to drag myself to work daily knowing that i would probably fall short of whatever expectations (already quite low) of whoever would be on that night, funnily enough, life started to perk up. and then resus shifts started. i both love & am scared of them. when i get home after a resus shift, even if i only saw 2 resus cases (and furthermore the mo usually only takes history and scribes), the adrenaline running thru me causes me to stay awake til 4am. LOVING IT. and yes i know i suck at it, not least from the eye-rolling. BUT i am really grateful for the many nice seniors who nevertheless patiently taught me what to do. it kinda gets easier, after a while. maybe the 'a while' means sixty days, but it's ok!
and of course the chocolate. this rotation has made me a chocolate addict. you wouldnt believe how much difference a preshift or a postshift chocolate can make to the overall levels of cheeriness. and maybe i just became faster or my patients nicer, but to the smiling & appreciative pts, thank you guys for making my days brighter and happier. thank you to the kid who drew a thank you card for me and the nurses (you know the kid can be discharged from sedation when she is awake enough to draw thank you cards), and who actually hugged me to thank me (so sweet! and i didnt even do anything for her, t and the reg did all the work hahaha).
to summarize, there i go but for the grace of God. for bringing me through these two months. he sends little cute kids to give me raisins or drawings or to play around my chair as i print their meds and say they want to be like doctorjiejie (HAHA if only they knew. then again, there's a high chance they might be better at plug setting than me in 20 yrs time..), encouraging emails, nice seniors.
so bring on the next two months :) i can do this!