The Organist with One Arm

This morning I was sitting in Church when the music started.

This means that the priest is coming into the Church and the Mass is starting.

I never usually notice the music.

It provides a beautiful backdrop to the worship, but because it does not change much it is not something my mind wanders towards.

Today as the music was playing, I noticed the organist had a cast on her left arm.

She was playing with only her right hand.

Immediately, I started to notice the music.

I noticed that it sounded exactly the same. No note was missed. Everything was perfect.

For some reason, because she was only using one hand, it made me appreciate the music so much more.

 

I think this holds true to life in many ways.

Individuals that conquer through the struggle and still continue to use their gifts and talents are extremely admirable.

The one-arm organist proved a point today.

No matter the struggle, if you are using your gifts for the glory of God, nothing can stop you.

The harder the struggle the greater the final product.

Friends, I encourage you to look at the struggle placed before you today. Use your gifts anyway regardless of what you face.

Be like the one-armed organist who, even with a cast on, continued to use her gift for God’s glory.

 

That’s not my problem

Every morning we awake.

To a table of our problems.

A plate full of dilemmas. Immediately we grab the fork and start eating and eating.

We consume morning, noon, and night. By the end of the month, year, decade we start to see the problems for what they are.

Eventually, we realize…

All we have been doing is eating crumbs, and complaining of how stuffed we are. 

So stop shifting the crumbs around with your fork.

Focused on your own little dish of problems.

Put your silverware down and get away from the damn table.

There are other’s who need your help.

Who need you to help them finish off their dish.

Literally. Just smile. 

At Church the other day a priest said something I thought was awesome. He was describing how everyone acts so bitter and down trotten all the time. There is such a lack of joy in the world. 

He said, “people walk around like they were baptized in vinegar.”

I laughed. Why? 

Because it is so true. 

And I know I am one of those people. 

We need to remind ourselves that we are baptized in living water. This is water that refreshes us. Wipes us clean. Gives us new strength every. Single. Day. 

So stop it. 

Yes. Just like that. STOP. 

Pick up your head. 

Put a smile on. 

And start believing in what you believe. 

Start loving others and living in the joy. 

Let go of self. Now. Not later. NOW. 

Have you ever jumped into a freezing pool of water? It is scary at first but after you feel so alive? Yeah? You need to jump in everyday. That jump is the courage to have joy in all things. 

I read an article today that said 20 minutes of positive thinking in a short amount of time can drastically change your brain chemistry. Guess what I am doing in my long shower tomorrow? 

Living water people. 

Not vinegar.

It begins this second. 

I’ve probably read every self-help book out there. I can spare you some time and let you know a little secret about all of them. They can give you tips but can’t do anything for you. If you want joy you must start living it. Being it. Remembering He is it. 

This world needs more joy. No excuses. It’s up to you now. Spread it all over the beautiful earth we are so lucky to be a part of. 

Joy is not feeling happy 24/7. 

 Joy is allowing yourself to be a window of Christ’s love and seeing that light transform the world. 

Vision of Our Hearts

My freshman year I was on the club rock climbing team. I joined the team because nothing beats an adrenaline rush. Though I always put on a face that I was super courageous and tough…heights always made my palms sweat. The higher I would climb the greater my heart rate.

Heights were one of my greatest fears.

Yet, at this time in my life I felt ready to muster up the courage and overcome it.

Whenever I climbed I always had the tendency to look down. 

There was a false sense of security in knowing there was a comfortable place to go. I could just give up my climb and begin my descent.

Why did I even need to make it up to the top anyway?

Today, I came across Psalm 25:15

” My eyes are ever on the Lord, for only He will release my feet from the snare.”

This psalm rocked me.

Why?

Because my eyes drift from the Lord daily, just like my eyes drift from the top when I climb.

If Christ is the ultimate goal, why do I always seem to look down at the ground instead of my Creator?

The ground is worldly comfort. 

The ground is selfishness.

The ground is vanity. 

The ground is pride.

The ground is sin. 

Whenever life gets hard and our palms get sweaty we desire safety. We become so overwhelmed with our own lives that we forget about the top of the rock wall. We forget about our triumph to climb this far up. Our legs shake.

We become the priority.

Not God.

Not our neighbors.

We are ready to walk down the rock wall and sit safe and secure on the comfortable ground. You see we have a problem. We keep looking away.

In Psalm 16:8 we see that it is essential keep our eyes on Christ.

“I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With Him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.”

What does it mean to keep our eyes on the Lord? Our gaze? How do we accomplish this feat?

Whenever we climb through life we need to look into the eyes of our neighbor. To love others in our community is to stare into their eyes and tell them how much we care. It is to serve the world with joy. It is to kneel beside our beds, with our eyes shut, but the vision of our hearts in fervent prayer to Christ.

The world is full of snares. Snares that hold us back. Snares that prevent us from climbing higher and higher in our journey to hear the will of the Lord.

Friends, today I encourage you to never look down. I encourage you to focus all your heart on the Lord.

If you do this…

Your palms will not be as sweaty.

Your heart rate will decrease. 

Your grip will strengthen. 

You will become a thrill seeker for the Lord.

Whenever you feel as though it is too hard. Whenever you feel the climb has taken all your strength. Remember He is always at the top of the rock wall.

 

With a hand ready. To never let you fall.

 

 

 

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.