So I was talking with a new friend recently and I was recanting another conversation I had in my churchy line of work. It was about how it’s not always important to be right, or at least to feel like it’s not always important to be right because relationships were more important. Blah blah blah- I was feeling eloquent and smug about my diatribe.
But she stopped me. “Actually for my job, it is really important to be right.” What does she do? She’s studying to be a anesthesia nurse, currently on a pediatrics rotation. So, I suppose, when you spend your days filling kids with just the right amount of medicine to put them asleep but not kill them, it affects how you feel about right and wrong.
And then I shut up. Because even though I work really hard at my job, a bad sermon will never kill anyone. When I make mistakes at my job, I can giggle and say “Ohhhh, Cortney.” and admit I was wrong without malpractice lawsuits ever entering into my brain. I can even jump into a reflection about how humbling it is to make mistakes and God is God and I’m not and perfection’s not in my job description.
No one ever dies on my table. I can talk about life and death in remarkably abstract and theoretical ways in my job. But that’s okay and it doesn’t change it’s importance. (paycheck, yes) It’s a luxury I’ll bask in because my brain works better with the nuanced art of community than with science.
And I can sit here and be truly thankful that there are people who devote their lives to studying and practicing medicine. That I can safely assume that if I wake up tomorrow with appendicitis, thanks to things that to my intellect might as well be magic, I can continue next week arguing inane details of theology and sharing the mysteriously good news that comes from one horrible death on a cross.
*- Title borrowed from the summary of Mindy Kaling’s soon to be released book Is Everyone Hanging Out With Me? (and Other Concerns) which I’ve pre-ordered and pre-recommended.
1 Corinthians 5:1-8:
Often when I was younger, our wider family would meet at our house for Thanksgiving. My mom would spend that morning cleaning every surface of our home, insisting that I help. I didn’t. I felt any child had an inalienable right to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on television, and, conveniently, whatever west coast equivalent was aired after it was over. (Sorry, Mom.)
And then it was time for my cousins and aunts and uncles to arrive. Almost. So I’d check the driveway.
Maybe they came early.
But maybe they came early, but not as early.
(Any view of the driveway required going to a tv-less room.)
They always arrived eventually, probably right when they said they would, but that didn’t stop me from wearing down a path to the front window, checking for cars in the driveway.
I was excited. And hungry. Today, 5 weeks shy of my 27th birthday, my life feels like Thanksgiving mornings. Is it time now? No? Okay, how about now? No? So, what I have 5 more minutes? Longer? Seriously?
A watched pot does boil. Eventually. And then it’s boiling and you have to make sure it doesn’t overflow and make a mess which it sometimes does even if you did put the precautionary olive oil in the water. But there’s plenty to do in the meantime, waiting for that. And [because I can’t resist over-extending a metaphor] a larger, fuller pot does take longer to boil.
But, really, life. I can smell the turkey roasting in the oven.
1 Corinthians 1:20-31:
“The fruit of silence is prayer.
The fruit of prayer is faith.
The fruit of faith is love.
The fruit of love is service.
The fruit of service is peace.”