“Rulers lead with my help, and nobles make righteous judgments (Proverbs 8:16).”
I took a walk though my neighborhood today, as I am wont to do on Saturdays. It doesn’t hurt that I live next to the largest lake in Finland the fourth largest in Europe. This body of water is a beautiful piece of creation and is ubiquitous in this area.
The lake is lined with pleasant birch forests. So after a few minutes I am in the woods.
Today I had a plan where I wanted to hike and thought I knew where I was going. However, I somehow took a path I had never been on before.
This trail led me right to a small point on the lake. It wasn’t bare. It had several small birch on it.
Right in from of me on this small point facing the lake was what amounted to a kitchen chair. It was íf God had led me out there and said “sit a spell”.
The Psalmist wrote some lovely words for this kind of situation:
“My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.”
And my heart responds, “Lord, I am coming.” (Psalm 27:8 NLT)
In my case though I got the impression I was just supposed to sit there and listen. So I sit in the kitchen chair and watched the current flow out into the lake from the inlet nearby. Finland isn’t the noisiest country at any time, but today out there in the forest by the lake it was silent as a mouse.
Some decisions are staring me in the face right now, and as I watched that current it came to me that much of my life I had been swimming against God’s flow. When I get into a tight spot as I am in now I tend to go to war and do everything in my power to get out of it.
The end result is that I end up spending years going down a certain road. Looking back, I am wondering if I made the right choices.
In an episode of the TV medical drama “House”, which is winding to its conclusion in the next couple of shows, Dr. Robert Chase is evaluating his own past decisions. A patient has made him confront his life.
This particular patient isn’t just anyone. It is the hospital coroner, a man named Dr. Treiber.
In his post Treiber sees all the mistakes. When he does autopsies, he knows which doctors messed up.
As a result, the only doctor in the place he really trusts is Gregory House, for whom the show is named. Furthermore, even though he is a member of House’s team, Treiber does not like Dr. Chase at all.
While working on Treiber, Chase discovers why. The coronoer had applied for the same fellowship under Dr. House which Chase eventually received. Here’s their conversation:
Treiber: Quit my other program, relocated, broke up with my girlfriend. Then your father made a call, and suddenly you had the spot.
Chase: That was almost ten years ago.
Treiber: Do you know what I could’ve done after even three years with House? Gone to the CDC, W.H.O. Started a diagnostics department someplace they’d never even heard of such a thing. You’ve been given everything. Looks, talent, my future. Nine years later, look what you’ve done with it.
Chase is speechless. He knows Treiber is right.
In a subsequent conversation with Dr. Taub, another House team member, Chase discusses the future -and the past.
Chase: How long do you think you’ll work for House?
Taub: As long as he lets me.
Chase: When House was in prison, you worked at Mercy in plastics, right? Know what I did? Surfed. For nine months.
Taub: Yes, and if I didn’t have two daughters and alimony, I might have done the same.
Chase: A fellowship’s supposed to train you to stand on your own. Foreman’s Dean of the hospital, Cameron’s head of emergency medicine in Chicago.
What brings matters to a head for Chase is that he suddenly becomes the point man on Treiber’s case. House has run off with his friend Dr. James Wílson on a road trip. Wilson is dying of cancer and confronting his own issues.
Chase, knowing how Treiber feels about him, doesn’t tell his patient that House is gone. Treiber is just told that House authorized his treatment. Thus, Chase has lied to his patient.
In the meantime, Chase has told one of the House team doctors he is quitting after the case. Chase discusses his future with his boss and friend Dr. Foremen.
Foreman: You’ve got everybody worried about your quitting.
Chase: You here as my boss or my friend?
Foreman: If I was here as your boss, you’d be suspended by now.
Chase: I’ve learned a lot here. Enough to run my own team. It’s time I moved on. Unfortunately, that’s how I felt last year. And the year before that.
Foreman: Maybe there’s a reason you haven’t left. You need structure. And support. Somebody else calling the shots.
Chase: You didn’t come down here as my boss or my friend. You came down as House. You’re trying to insult me into making a decision.
Foreman: We’ve both seen it work. Either you rise to the challenge and quit, or you stay. As a team member.
Chase is left to ponder Foreman’s charge of indeciseveness.
Treiber’s condition worsens, and Treiber learns the truth. Typical of the show, however, Treiber’s condtion is solved, but this time by Dr. Chase.
When Treiber tells Chase that he himself probably wouldn’t have come up with the diagnosis that saved his life, Chase credits House’s teaching. Treiber replies, “This wasn’t House.”
Later, Chase sees Foreman in the hall and tosses him his locker key. Foreman makes one last ditch effort to keep Chase on board:
Foreman: “I’ll give you your own team.”
Chase: “Thanks. But it’s time to step out of the shadow.”
Foreman: “It’s about time.”
Sitting by the lake today I thought the same thing. It’s “about time” I quit making bad decisions based on my own insecurity.
I have spent many years under God’s tutelage. I know His methods and ways.
It’s time to get out of my comfort zone. If I don’t, I won’t be at peace with myself the rest of my days (Isaiah 50:11).
It’s about time I became a leader.