I was the Medical Intensive Care Unit senior last night. No biggie for those who’ve been there, done that. But there's something exciting and frightening about experiencing New Things or Things Never Tried Before. Last night wasn’t quite the exception. It’s the idea that things always change—for better or worse—that prevents us from stagnating. The attitude we employ must be that of welcoming the changes and learning from them. I got a few hours of shut-eye last night. My phone was beside me all the time, and I was waiting for it to ring, for a nurse or panicking intern tell me, “Sir, may code po.” Praise be to God for guiding me through the number of referrals I’ve seen. I realize, as I write this, that I’m more than halfway through residency training in this bright, beautiful, sometimes depressing, world of Internal Medicine. I’m grateful that I am where I am, and that I’m doing what I love.
PHOTOS of old people make me really happy. They fascinate me, like babies do. Maybe even more than babies. I like keeping old friends in my life. It's not a secret I want to look like C. S. Lewis when I grow old: that hearty chuckle, gentleness, and faith. And maybe that double-chin, too—give or take.
I found this charming collage in The New York Times Opinion page, in an article written by Peter Wehner.
C. S. Lewis was a great thinker—his Christian worldview is pervasive in church circles, even to this day. He spoke about many things but hardly meddled with politics and government. And understandably so. He believed in the separation of church and state. He believed, in a sense, that the goal of Christianity is not to reform government but to proclaim Christ and Him crucified.
For the love of Christ compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died.—2 Corinthians 5:14
IN THE WEE hours of the morning, as soon as I wake up, I launch into a philosophical exploration of sorts. Why do I do what I do? Am I where I should be? Is it the Lord’s will for me to be a doctor? It’s amusing: I’ve had my PRC license for a year and half now, but I still wonder if I should be a physician at all. Do you find yourself asking these questions, too?1
But I am where I am and where I should be. And I trust in the comfort of God’s promises that all things work out for my good and His glory (Romans 8:28). I am thankful for the calling—this vocation of saving lives—that He has led me to.
MY PALMAR HYPERHIDROSIS—sweaty palms, something I’ve had since kindergarten—has gotten worse. I’m not alone in this; apparently, I share this with more or less 2.9% of the US population1.
This afternoon I bought a transparent matte case for my laptop. The feel of sweaty palms on bare metal is too much for me to handle—too gritty, too uncomfortable. So goodbye to my well-loved, overused laptop sleeve for now. My palms are funny: if they’re not sweating, they’re peeling. Ah, they have lives of their own.
- Stratton et al. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2004;51(2):241. We don’t have local data on this condition. ↩︎
THE New Yorker’s profile of Pete Wells, The New York Times restaurant critic, is fascinating.
The front of the room was bare and bright, and filled with thirty-year-olds on backless stools at communal pale-wood tables—a picnic held in a cell-phone store. The noise level reminded me of Wells’s review of a Tex-Mex restaurant: “It always sounds as if somebody were telling a woman at the far end of the table that he had just found $1,000 under the menu, and the woman were shouting back that Ryan Gosling had just texted and he’s coming to the restaurant in, like, five minutes!” Wells is not peevish about discomfort. His columns make a subtle study of what counts as fun in middle age—loyalties divided between abandon and an early night. His expressions of enthusiasm often take the form of wariness swept away: Wells found joy in a conga line at Señor Frog’s, in Times Square. But after dining at Momofuku Nishi he returned to his home, in Brooklyn, and wrote in his notes about “a hurricane of noise.”
Being a restaurant critic is one of my dream jobs and is in the category of: “being a writer for The National Geographic” or “being a book critic for The New York Times” or “working in Shinya Yamakana’s stem cell laboratory.”
“For you remember, brothers, our labor and toil: we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, while we proclaimed to you the gospel of God. You are witnesses, and God also, how holy and righteous and blameless was our conduct toward you believers. For you know how, like a father with his children, we exhorted each one of you and encouraged you and changed you to walk in a manner worthy of God, who calls you into his own kingdom and glory.”—1 Thessalonians 2:9–12
ON THIS SUNDAY morning, I thank my pastors and Bible study leaders in my local church, men who preach the gospel day in and out, in season and out of season, regardless of how many there are of us who listen. I thank these men who toil daily, searching and understanding scriptures to equip us to be God-fearing church members. Theirs is a difficult job and calling, and one that doesn’t start at 5 and end at 8. They labor to strengthen our souls, to lead us to maturity, and to leads us to see the beauty and majesty of Christ. Let's thank the Lord for them, and to pray that God strengthen them and their families, and provide for their needs.
JUST as I’m about to embark on a study spree—which includes hours of poring over my notes, occasional note-taking by hand, and intermittent sipping of brewed coffee—my father, a gracious man who’s turning 65 this October, drags me to the cinema.