Tag Archives: christian living

Would I Be A Doctor Again?

I’ve heard over and over again from some doctors how they’d never go through the process again and wouldn’t recommend it to anyone.  So I’ll answer the question.  Would I be a doctor again?  To quote Sarah Palin, “You Betcha!”

In my experience, becoming a doctor has been very rewarding.  I can’t complain.  So where do I start explaining why?  Well, there are the belly-button pearls for one.  “Belly-button pearls?” you ask.  Yes.  Belly-button pearls.  You know, those wooly-booger types who let the lint in their belly fester and roll around with the hair just like a piece of sand in a clam.  After many moons, that simple piece of fuzz become a nice round, smooth, rock-solid belly-button pearl of great price.

Well, really there are some other nice benefits.  For one, especially in this economy, there is no shortage of requests for doctors in just about any part of the country.  Hopefully I won’t be searching anytime soon, but if I had to, I could almost pick where I want to live.  Of course I’m leaving near about as close as you can to Heaven without dying, so I’m thankful for that.  And how can a doctor complain when just the average salary of a primary care doctor is around $150,000?  That’s good enough for roughly being in the top 5% in the U.S.  And that’s not even including the fringe benefits of insurance and retirement.

Not only is the pay pretty good for an education that’s not much longer, if any than other post-grad professions, the time involved can also be quite satisfying.  Right now, I pretty much work 4 1/2 8-hour days a week with a day a week and one weekend a month of light call that often results in no phone calls or hospital admissions.  I’ve been in jobs as a doctor where I had no call whatsoever and worked more like 8:30 to 4:30 with a half-day off each week.  Throw in 4 weeks of vacation and another week of education and it rivals some of the best vacation packages around.

But there’s more than just money and time.  There’s the satisfaction of being able to help people.  There have been many times when I’ve been able to really come in handy for someone for whatever reason – maybe calling something in for a friend, maybe giving some realistic medical explanations for people confused by what they’ve heard.  Or maybe it’s just helping someone have hope again when everything seems to have been taken from them.

There’s also the challenges.  Imagine diagnosing someone with Malaria or cancer or other systemic diseases.  Some aren’t easy and straightforward which requires a lot of study, a lot of interdisciplinary discussion and just downright praying for help in figuring things out.

Being a doctor afforded me the opportunity to go overseas and help some less fortunate people with medical needs.  Life lessons are important for personal growth.  The opportunities I had to learn from people in foreign countries has been something I can’t really put a price tag on.  How can you go to the store and buy something that will truly open your eyes?  Where can you purchase a change of heart or a realistic understanding of the plight of third world societies?

I could go on.  Sure, being in the Medical field has its downside.  Insurance companies can be a nightmare and a big hassle.  The government tends to like to put its sticky hands in everything and medicine is no different.  Some people can’t afford some of the studies it takes to diagnose their problem.  Others have serious side effects to medicines or damaging results do to physician error.  Some patients are just quite demanding and expect too much (but then again, they do pay their bills for the most part). 

But to answer the question again, yes, I would do it all over again.  I can’t imagine there being another job I’d like to do except being a professional football or baseball player or a professional music star.  But I can’t do those, so the best thing is to be what God has allowed me to be.

Fireproof – The Movie

This weekend my wife and I had the opportunity to go see Fireproof, the latest movie from the makers of Facing the Giants.  Facing the Giants did well when it came out but Fireproof has already beaten it.  In fact, Fireproof made an estimated $4 million this weekend and over $12 million since its release two weeks ago, despite showing on only 852 screens, roughly 1/3 to 1/4 of other big Hollywood movies.

Set in Albany, Georgia, Fireproof tells the story of a young married couple whose marriage is more than on the rocks and the struggle of Caleb, at the encouragment of his father, to win back the heart of his wife Catherine who wants out.  The writers manage to faithfully paint the picture of what’s surely happening in homes all across America since half of all marriages end in divorce.  Who can watch the film and not find something that reminds them of themselves, their friends or their family?  The intensity is there, the sadness is there, the hope is there, the fighting is there and the love and romance are there. 

While Facing the Giants is a great movie with a great message, the acting was notably mediocre.  But Fireproof blows past mediocrity this time with very good acting by most of the characters, especially the two leading actors, Kirk Cameron and Erin Bethea.  Both played their parts well and, like any good movie, brought to the big screen what many live in the common life out here in real America.  There aren’t any lotteries won (well, not million-dollar lotteries though you’d might say both won in the lottery of relationships). There are no prince and princess fairytales and everyone is just like us.  I see all of these people everyday, right here in Mississippi.  And that’s part of what makes this film special.  There’s no “Pretty Woman” storyline though I’d say Erin Bethea is much prettier than Julia Roberts.  There’s no elitism.  These are regular people.  It’s the story of real people, struggling in life and relationships.  And it’s the story of facing head-on all the faults that make us so human, but working hard to overcome them.

While some would argue that this film is made by an Evangelical Church in Georgia and that it talks about Christianity, I’d say it’s worth it, even to the atheist, to see this film and there’d be few Christians that would argue that you don’t need God in your marriage.  Despite the religious arguments and complaints that are out there, the film can still be enjoyed and appreciated as well as challenging to any person from any worldview.  I’d especially encourage giving it a shot for any of you out there whose marriages are on the rocks.

Fireproof is proof that a low-budget movie ($500,000) can be made that is satisfying to watch and challenging at the same time, all the while avoiding the sex and promiscuity and foul language that pervades most films out of Hollywood.

Watch the trailer below.

2 Corinthians 5:16

So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. (2 Corinthians 5:16 NIV).

I don’t know about you, but I get in trouble when I’m looking at life and people from a worldly perspective.  I have a tendency to get caught up at looking at the worldly side of things and getting my eyes off the idea that we are spirtual beings.  I look at how much someone makes or what sized house someone owns or what one does for a living.  I look at all the big buildings and all the great manmade things and get enamored by the things, the material stuff, that so preoccupy our minds and life.  Sometimes, that leads to jealousy, to bitterness, to anger, to pride, to all kinds of feelings or emotions that aren’t healthy.  Sometimes, take this political election season as an example, I just get discouraged.

But what if I looked at life and people, not from a worldly perspective, but from a spiritual perspective?  I’ve tried it, actually, and it’s amazing the change I see.  Not in other people, but in me.  When I realize that all of these worldly things, be they money, fame or even sex, it will all pass away and what we will be left with is a spiritual being.    The resentment, the bitterness, the discouragement all fade away into a sense that something much bigger than my little worldly vision can see. 

Maybe Paul was on to something.

8 Words on My Epitaph

I was at a large meeting a couple of weeks ago and the question was asked, “What 8 words would you put on your epitaph?”  Eight words is not much but here’s what I came up with.

Loved God, Loved Family, Loved Life, Had Fun

How about you?  What would you have on your epitaph?

Prisoner of Our Thoughts

For the rest, my brothers, whatever things are true, whatever things have honour, whatever things are upright, whatever things are holy, whatever things are beautiful, whatever things are of value, if there is any virtue and if there is any praise, give thought to these things.  (Philippians 4:8, Bible in Basic English)

A few years ago I saw a diagram that looked something like this:

Thoughts -> Actions -> Habits -> Character

The explanation goes something like this.  Those thoughts that fill our minds often cause us to act upon them in certain ways.  Being creatures of habit, we often repeat those actions.  If we repeat certain actions, at some point they become habits for us.  Those habits that we continue become the basis of our character.  So our character, who we are, is based on our habits that are developed out of our actions that are based on our thoughts.

Whether or not you believe the Bible, it’s hard to argue with the truth in this verse.  Paul must have had times where his thoughts bothered and concerned him.  He realized the importance of our thoughts and encourages us to think on good things.  I know it’s helped me many times.

I remember a particular religious person that just always seemed to bug the stew out of me, always seemingly creating strife, being dishonest or just not being what I thought was “real”.  Not that I’m perfect, I’m not.  Should have I been bothered? Probably not.  But I was.  And I found that as I focused on good things, on holy things, on beautiful things, then those bad thoughts would be crowded out and overcome by the good.

Even now, I struggle with my thoughts.  I’m sure you do too.  They often hold us prisoner and make us slaves to act upon them, which ultimately, whether seen or unseen, becomes the basis of who we are, our character.  Think of the one addicted to pornography, I have heard many say how they’re tormented, held prisoner to their thoughts.  Think of the one who constantly thinks the world is out to get them.  They’re captives to what they think.  Or how about those who just always think they’re right?  They, too, are a prisoner of war.

2 Corinthians 10:5 reads, “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” (NIV).

Paul was on to something.  Our thoughts hold us captive.  Like a prisoner of war, we’re destined to bow to the whims of what rules us, of what our thoughts tell us.  We’re captive, we’re chained and we’re not free.  It’s time to turn the tide on our thoughts.  Instead of being held captive by our thoughts, isn’t it high time we take our thoughts captive?  Shouldn’t we do as Paul suggested and take our thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ.  Shouldn’t we dwell on those good things, those beautiful things, those things that are commendable?