Microwave Moments

You go into your freezer and pull out that ice cream you have been waiting to eat all day. You grab a spoon from the drawer, open the lid, and dive right into the pint. Yet, the ice cream is as hard as a rock. You keep trying but you are just getting ice cream shavings. So you do the microwave trick.

You take the ice cream and put it in the microwave for ten seconds.

When you take it out it has softened a bit and now you can enjoy it.

Like the ice cream, there are many people whose hearts have hardened by their environment.

You try to talk with them or form relationships with them, yet whenever you try it’s like you are talking to a wall. They are cold. Some people can become quite ruthless.

It may be difficult to be kind towards these people. It takes a big dose of humility and a giant amount of patience. Yet, this is what we are called to do.

When we are kind, loving, patient, generous, caring, etc. towards individuals with a hardened heart it turns into a microwave moment. Though on the outside they may appear cold, a transformation is occurring inside of them. It doesn’t have to be big acts of kindness. Sometimes the smallest acts slip into the cracks of their heart easier.

People may condemn you and laugh at you. They may tell you that said person will never change. They will tell you to just leave them alone and move on.

However, this is not what Christ has called us to do. He has called us to live lives of pure love towards EVERYONE.

So continue to choose to love those with a hardened heart.

You may be their last hope.

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Do you have a screw loose?

Yesterday, after going for a walk, I see a giant box outside my door.

What did I order?

As I get closer I realize that it is a new chair.

This is my last semester of medical school basic sciences. Basically, this means in May I have a test called the USMLE that plays a big factor in what type of doctor I can be. With that being said, this semester calls for a lot more studying than usual. I wanted a chair that would allow me to study for long periods without feeling like I got hit by a train.

I opened the chair and realized that the chair needed to be built. Great. Reading and following directions have never been something I do very well. I started using the tools given and placing the screws where they needed to be. I had to unscrew them and redo it because I put the base of the chair on backwards!

The process was not going very well.

 

 

Eventually, I asked my fiancee for help. Yes, I definitely did feel humbled. After we finished we had one screw left. However, the way the chair was assembled it was impossible to put the screw in. The two holes would not line up. After some time trying it was either rebuild the whole chair (hours!) or leave it. The chair was still sturdy. It could function as any chair would.

However, it was just missing one screw.

Later my fiancee said something to me that struck me.

“The chair is like people. If we focus on our missing screw we will never be able to do our purpose. However, just because we are missing a screw does not mean we cannot do what we are meant to do in this life.”

We all have our missing/loose screws. Areas in our lives that we are ashamed of. Aspects of our personality or character that we wish would change.

This story is a reminder to not lose heart. You can be missing a screw and still pursue your God given purpose.

Focus on your goals not your unfilled holes.

The Sun in the Sad Times

This morning I had class at 7:30.

Last night, I stayed up way too late, so naturally I felt like my sheets were bricks as I woke up this morning.

I basically crawled my way to the shower, got dressed, and left.

Leaving a little early to beat the traffic, I saw the most beautiful sunrise.

The picture at the top does not even do it justice.

I was blown away by the beauty.

God was present. I was present with Him. What an awesome start to the day.

Then I started to think.

In order to see such a gift, I had to wake up feeling like death.

I had to push the feelings of my humanity away, and move forward.

By doing this I was able to be a part of the sunrise.

This is exactly what we are called to do with our suffering on this earth. We are to use it as a stimulus to grow deeper in faith, hope, and love through utter perseverance.

In the darkness of the morning we must remain hopeful for the rising of the sun.

 

 

My Only Trophy

Above my fridge I have a trophy.

 

It is my only trophy.

 

The only one I kept.

It is pretty big and was for a soccer shootout competition I won.

Let me tell you the story:

When I was 13 my parents told me about a soccer competition that would take place at a nearby school. It was a penalty kick competition. I was really nervous to go but I decided it would be worth it. So my parents drove me to the field. I remember walking up to the older man running the competition and signing in for my age bracket. The people running the competition then placed me at the penalty kick marker and gave me a few tries.

All I remember was how hard they had filled up those soccer balls.

My pre-pubescent little legs could barely hit the ball very far.

I remember all my shots either missed the goal completely or slowly made there way into the net. I probably made about 1 shot. After I used up all my tries, I wanted to get out of there fast.

I knew I did terrible.

But all of a sudden something weird happened.

 

A giant trophy was given to me. 

 

The man told me that I was the only 13 year old boy in my division. So, by showing up I automatically won. He then told me there would be city vs city competition and then a state competition, which I would be eligible for.

 

I can still picture my stunned face as I stared at the biggest trophy I had ever received.

 

So, for the next couple of years I stared at this trophy sitting in my room.

It was the least valuable in my “collection.”

“I didn’t earn this,”

I would always repeat to myself when I saw it on my shelf.

 

So why nine years later is it the only trophy I kept?

 

Because winning life is all about

showing up.

 

Now, I keep this trophy above my fridge to remind myself constantly that life is all about showing up. Participating. Taking that first step.

I won that competition by putting on my cleats and heading to the field.

This is exactly what we need to do everyday.

We need to step out into the world and kick that soccer ball.

I can assure you.

One day someone will hand you a big trophy out of nowhere.

And all it took was showing up.

Why.I.Keep.Going.

It’s that time of the year again.  What time?  The time of the year when every pre-med out there questions his or her life choices.  Our brains becomes flooded with statements like…

“What are you doing to yourself?” 

“You are tired. Kick your feet up and just take a nice long nap.  Forget about the tests.”

“Are you sure you are cut-out for this pre-med thing?”

“Why do you even want to be a doctor anyway?”

Though these thoughts usually come from the sleep-deprived irrational brain, there is some rational questions that arise…

Why keep going?  Why not stop?  Why not do something else with your life?

Most of the time we tend to silence these scary thoughts and pretend they never happened.  We are pre-med.  We cannot show weakness.

So what do we do?

  • Drink gallons upon gallons of coffee.
  • Study for 1,000,000 hours
  • More Coffee
  • Maybe sleep?  Nope.
  • Study another 1,000,000,000 hours…
  • And eventually
  • Make it into medical school!
  • And then…
  •  DO IT ALL OVER AGAIN

Something else besides the prestige and the financial stability must be motivating us to keep going?

What is it?  

Here are a few reasons why I keep going.  I hope it resonates with all the pre-meds out there.

I keep going for…

That older woman in the free clinic.  She tells me she doesn’t sleep more than 4 hours a night.  I ask why.  She tells me that she can’t sleep because her husband had lung cancer .  At night, when he coughed, she feared he would die.  He passed away years ago she tells me…but she still wakes up.

I keep going for…

That ten year old girl who wears a surgical mask anytime she goes out in public.  She can go into anaphylactic shock for air-borne milk allergen exposure.

I keep going for…

The woman with Stage 4 ovarian cancer. Her husband, sitting beside her, just had a stroke.  His whole left side is paralyzed.  She jokes about her upcoming death.  He tries to forget by watching TV nonstop.  He clicks the remote with his right hand.

I keep going for…

 

That little kid with Crohn’s Disease who takes more pills than I can count.

I keep going for…

My Grandpa, an engineer and man who loved working with his hands, who is now unable to move or speak because of Parkinson’s disease.

I keep going for…

The man in the nursing home who does not remember me after a few minutes.

I hope…

That through my studies, I will gain the critical thinking skills necessary to make the correct diagnoses.

I hope…

That through my studies, I will gain the patience to listen to each and every symptom.

I pray…

That through my studies, I will gain the strength to carry on even when I feel like I can go on no further.

Why do we keep going?

For the privilege to make a difference in the lives of our future patients and their families.