"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men." Colossians 3:23
This is one of this week's memory texts for the Online Bible Study group I am participating in. As soon as I read it, I knew how I wanted to keep this present in my thoughts and actions for the week--I would tape a copy of it up over my desk at work! That would be the perfect way to remind myself that my work is not about me and my expectations, but about my patients and their expectations; it's about being Jesus in their lives.
Perhaps this would be a good time to explain that I am a nurse in the
OB/Gyn field. I work in a busy physician's practice with seven Doctors,
five Nurse-Midwives, a Nurse Practitioner, and a Physician's Asst.
There are about 10 other nurses, 15 lab personnel, and 30 or so business
office staff. Other than five of the Doctors and one guy in the
business office, it is a LARGE group of women. We know each others
husbands, boyfriends, kids, and parents--and, of course, we know each
others problems. We have cried at funerals together, shopped together,
wrapped Christmas gifts together, and we eat together every day. It's a
pretty cool experience, to be honest, and I wouldn't trade my "sisters"
for anything. It's a high pressure job, though! You might think that OB nursing is all smiles and babies and hugs and flowers--and some days it is. On other days, it's the saddest job on the planet. Menopause is not much fun. Some patients don't appreciate our advice. How do you tell someone that they have cancer? Not every pregnancy has a happy ending.
Now, where was I. . . .
I printed the text and took it to work on Monday, but I forgot to put it up until nearly the end of the day. I read it over as I closed the cabinet over my desk and smiled. "This is going to be so inspirational tomorrow!", I thought, "I'm gonna get in here and throw myself into this list of phone calls to make and plow through every one of them!"
I left the office with a smile on my face and a sense of satisfaction and anticipation of all that God and I would get done the next day.
I walked in Tuesday morning and read my text. Yep--that sense of excitement was still there--for about five minutes. The Assistant Head Nurse walked up and said the words no nurse wants to hear, "Meghan is not coming in today, she's out with a sick child. Your Doctor is on-call, so you will have to cover OB Call (her job) today." GREAT! OB CALL!! Truthfully, this is my least favorite part of my job. OB Call consists of fielding all of the phone calls from our OB patients about anything they have a question about or a problem with. This can range from "I can't stop throwing up!" to "Why does my back hurt?" and the dreaded "I haven't felt my baby move all day."
As I contemplated what my day might hold, and how I wouldn't be getting any of the stuff done that I had planned on working on, all the anticipation and excitement about "working for the Lord" just drained right out of me. My smile turned upside down and a big old grumpy heart starting forming. I turned to Susan, who was at the desk, and started venting my irritation at the whole frustrating situation and even pointed to the scripture above my desk! She smiled at me and pointed out the obvious--that I had presented the old Devil with a challenge, and he didn't plan on letting me experience victory in this situation. He was trying to trigger my "bossy gene" and it was up to me to put the situation back in God's hands. Thanks goodness Susan was there! My attitude did an about-face as I prayed hard over the situation. My day was just as expected; full of stress, no lunch and so many phone calls, but it was also filled with the blessing of hearing patients tell me how much they appreciated my advice or my reassurance. When I read that text again at the end of the day, it had a clearer meaning for me. It's not about me, it's about Him.
The work I had planned on doing didn't get done Tuesday, but the work God had planned for me did.