One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple. Psalm 27:4
Conflicting claims readily crowd out essential ones. A crowd of patients with trivial problems may cause us to neglect the seriously ill. It is easy to be too busy in medicine. The work is important, interesting and rewarding. It may be easy to justify doing the job that presents itself, to deal with the urgent at the expense of the important, and to overlook the doctor's own need for times of relaxation.
The achievers in any discipline are the single-minded, and the Christian is told to do whatever he does wholeheartedly. But in the possible tension between God's claims and those which are professional, the greater danger is that God may be crowded out.
Running through all the demands of today -- all my plans for tomorrow in clinical work: further diplomas; job prospects; domestic cares; leisure pursuits -- it should still be possible to step on one side to remind myself that one thing only really matters. All these other things are ephemeral. `The things that are seen are transient, but the things that are not seen are eternal' (2 Cor 4:18).
Sir Thomas More, in the midst of his high affairs of state, protested `I neither could nor would rule my king...but there's a little... little... area... where I must rule myself. It's a very little -- less to him than a tennis court'.
Thomas Brooke has written:
`If God be thy portion, there is no condition that can make thee miserable: if God be not thy portion, there is no condition that can make thee happy. If God be not thy portion, in the midst of thy sufficiency thou will be in straits. O sirs, it is not absolutely necessary that you should have this or that earthly portion, but it is absolutely necessary that you should have God'.