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Posts Tagged ‘career’

“When darkness overtakes the godly, light will come bursting in. They are generous, compassionate, and righteous (Psalm 124:4).”

Today is an absolutely gorgeous late autumn here in Virginia where I live. My schedule this morning allowed me to take my walk through the pastures of the local university–a walk I treasure.

It occurred to me as I closed in on the well-known pond on campus,”What a difference a year makes.” Last year at this time I was living in a Nordic country where the daylight comes late and goes away early

As I walked I recalled the emotions of that late November. I was definitely depressed. I was apart from my family (I hadn’t seen them in almost three months), and the sun was a thing of the past.  Not only did its light only appear a few hour a day, but there was some much overcast that I rarely saw the object itself.

Yet, today there was a bright sun ball in the blue sky. I was surrounded by greenery and water. It was like I had gone from hell to heaven in the space of 12 months.

A passage from the devotional Streams in the Desert describes well my emotional state one year ago:

“All-loving Father, sometimes we have walked under starless skies that dripped darkness like drenching rain. We despaired of starshine or moonlight or sunrise. The sullen blackness gloomed above us as if it would last forever. And out of the dark there spoke no soothing voice to mend our broken hearts. We would gladly have welcomed some wild thunder peal to break the torturing stillness of that overbrooding night.

Yet, something came out of that period. It drove me to my knees.

When I wasn’t working, I had time to spend with the Lord. And I did a lot of that, especially on Sundays.

Streams in the Desert, in the same passage, goes on to portray  what happened to me as well as this author:

“But Thy winsome whisper of eternal love spoke more sweetly to our bruised and bleeding souls than any winds that breathe across Aeolian harps. It was Thy ‘still small voice’ that spoke to us. We were listening and we heard. We looked and saw Thy face radiant with the light of love. And when we heard Thy voice and saw Thy face, new life came back to us as life comes back to withered blooms that drink the summer rain.”

Somehow in my loneliness and darkness my relationship with God grew to be the best it had ever been. It was just me, the Lord and the black.

One of my friends recently told me that he thought of me as Job’s second cousin. I have been thinking of that comment ever since.

In one way I think of it as an honor to be mentioned in the same breath as a man like Job. On the other hand, I have thought that my life and that of Job differ in one respect.

His plight eventually came to an end.  God restored his  fortunes. My difficulties go on and on, with no end in sight.

My pastor told me a couple of months ago,”You’re just in a season of life right now.” The inference was that “this too shall pass”. I looked at him with an expression of,”I don’t know about that.”

Sometimes I see light at the end of the tunnel. For example, I am so boxed in that I pretty much have to use my one talent to get by.

As a result, I think that perhaps God has enclosed me so as to force me into using my gifts. Otherwise, my attitude would be,”I can’t do that. I must do this.”

Now, it appears He has placed me in such a condition that He is telling me,”No. You must do this. You must listen to me (finally!) and do what I called you to do  a long time ago. You just need to trust Me and the promises I have given you.”

That is astounding to me, that God would think that much of me to actually set me on a path to my dreams being fulfilled, especially this late in the game. The jury is still out on whether or not that is what is happening, but I’m listening–and watching for the light to reappear!

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After this, Paul left Athens and went to Corinth.  There he met a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had ordered all Jews to leave Rome. Paul went to see them,  and because he was a tentmaker as they were, he stayed and worked with them. Every Sabbath he reasoned in the synagogue, trying to persuade Jews and Greeks (Acts 18:1-4).”

Martha M. Masters is an unusual character in the world of Gregory House.

First, unlike all the rest of her colleagues, she is not a full-fledged doctor. She is a medical student.

Second, unlike House and the rest of his team, she is ethical and honest. She will tell the honest truth to patients, even if it gets in the way of their recovery.

In a recent episode of the medical drama “House”, Masters is faced with a couple ethical dilemmas. Now that’ not unusual because this happens every episode when her character comes into play.

What makes this episode called the “Last Temptation” out of the ordinary is that Masters has to make ethical decisions that will alter her life. Will she follow Housian principles of solving the problem regardless of the moral choices involved, or will she choose to do the right thing and potentially suffer loss.

The problem with such choices as the ones faced by Masters is that “the right choice” is not always clear. Dr. House himself was impacted by a decision of that nature once.

In seeking advice  from House’s friend Dr. Wilson on what to do about a young girl named Kendall with bone cancer, Masters learns of this life altering decision. Wilson tells her,”Once he was in a medically-induced coma, his girlfriend signed the consent form as his proxy. They went ahead with the surgery against his will. Probably saved his life.”

Masters asks Wilson,”So she did the right thing?” Wilson replies,”Depends on who you ask?”

House and other have  suffered immensely because of that decision. He is in great pain, which has even led to drug addiction in the past. He also walks with a cane, and all of this has contributed to his surly personality.

In addition to facing a decision about doing the right thing concerning Kendall’s care, Masters is also dealing with her own major choice. She is graduating from med school this very day, and House has created a positon for her.

House knows Masters has exceptional potential, but believes she will never actually be so until she learns to make tough choices without always considering ethics. Thus, througout the day, he pushes Masters to turn in a false log  he signed showing she has perforned the required amount of a procedure to graduate, although she actually lacks one.

Masters knows what House is doing, and she is struggling to turn in the log.  More importantly, unless she does something to amputate Kendall’s arm, the girl will die. Yet, even Kendall’s parents stand by her decision not to have the surgery.

Finally, Masters fakes a medical emergency and convinces the parents to sign a consent form as a result. Kendall’ s arm is amputated and her life saved.

Afterward, House runs into Masters and they have the following conversation:

House: Someone has got their pouty face on.

Masters: I did things no doctor in their right mind would do.

[He drops his backpack on his desk and pulls some cash out of his pocket.]

House: Good.

Masters: I manipulated, lied, forged, stole.

 House: I don’t want to know the specifics. Might be called to testify.

[He leaves. She follows, continuing the conversation as they walk down the hall.]

Masters: I broke the rules because I believed I was right.

House: You were right.

Masters: Then why don’t I feel good or satisfied? Instead, I just feel like throwing up.

House: And you’re following me to ask how I break the rules and maintain my rosy demeanor.

[He knocks on Wilson’s door.]

Masters: I didn’t do it to be happy. I just thought I would be.

House: Well, you can’t always get what you want.

[Wilson closes the door after House speaks with himWilson]

Masters: House. I can’t do it. I’m leaving.

House: Surgery? (Meaning, another job.)

Masters: I… don’t know what I’m going to do. But I do know I don’t want to be here.

House: Nothing will ever be simple again.

Masters: I’m fine with that.

Masters confidently strides out of the hospital with a new future.

Masters finally determined that living with herself took precedence over being an exceptional doctor. As one of the episode’s writer’s notes,”Ultimately, it’s not the right place for her to be.”

I can identify greatly with Masters. Last week I basically quit my job.

I have spent days reflecting over whether or not this was the right decision. As crazy as it sounds, this TV drama has helped me come to an understanding that I did.

I did not agree philosophically with the actions of  my superiors, especially as they related to me. This came to a head last week and caused me great anguish.

Ultimately, I have determined that this workplace was not the right place for me to be. Quitting may cost me, and yes, the near future may not be simple, but I believe maintaining my sanity and self respect was more important than staying on purely for financial reasons.

Masters wanted to throw up when she considered her actions at her workplace. I wanted to throw up this morning when I thought about returning to the kind of environment I have been working in. I literally felt nauseous.

Perhaps my methodology was flawed, but emotionally this morning I feel like the Psalmist:

  “He reached down from on high and took hold of me;
   he drew me out of deep waters. 
He rescued me from my powerful enemy,
   from my foes, who were too strong for me. 
They confronted me in the day of my disaster,
   but the LORD was my support. 
He brought me out into a spacious place;
   he rescued me because he delighted in me (Psalm 18:16-19).”

One of my friends recently wrote me and asked how Iwas doing. I told him about my job situation.

He wrote me back and one of the things he told me was how good I was at a particular thing. He lamented that it was not easy to make money at it.

I’m fine with that. It may not be simple, but I am thinking strongly of pursuing this kind of work with all my might. It’s my passion, and maybe because of that I can make some money at it.

God made the Martha Masters of the world. He made me, too.

In the movie Popeye, based on the cartoon, the title character says:

  • Oh, what am I? Some kind of barnicle on the dinghy of life? Oh, I ain’t no doctors, but I knows when I’m losing me patiensk. What am I? Some kind of judge or lawyers? Maybe not, but I knows what law suitks me.  Careful there, don’t ruffle me feathers. What am I? I ain’t no physcikisk, but I knows what matters. What am I? I’m Popeye the Sailor.
  • [singing] And I yam what I yam and I yam what I yam that I yam / And I gotta lotta muscle and I only gots one eye / And I never hurts nobody and I’ll never tell a lie / Top to me bottom and bottom to me top / That’s the way it is ’til the day that I drop, what am I / I yam what I yam.

Being the best “me” will be the best thing for me, my family and my God. Doing His will and doing it well means to me being the person God has created me to be.

If that means moving on, even if it makes some things complicated, so be it.

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