to lay it down. . .
Life holds this dilemma, this paradox, of laying down our lives for others, but doing it in such a way that it can be repeated day after day. . .and that difficult balance has been my journey of the last few months.
Laying down my life.
Taking it back up again.
Collapsing. Sometimes with joy, with satisfaction, with peace – often just with exhaustion.
A total pouring out.
How do I live in a place where beating hearts seem to depend on my medicine, but walk out of the hospital with enough energy to return again the next day?
How do I empty my life into people – friends, patients, parents, colleagues, children, husband – but retain enough of myself to extend grace and feel deep joy?
How do I lay down my life in such a way that He can use it day after day, again and again?
I had a friend once write she was suspicious of margin. . .I am too, though it seems to be the word of the month – how do I create “margin?” How do I not live limit to limit with no room for the unexpected?
I have never been very good at margin. . .I never knew when to stop studying for a test. Never have been very good a saying no. I had a baby during medical school and again during residency. I live things with every ounce of energy I have. When I slow down or step away, it usually takes me a full 48 hours to calm my mind. And most days, creating margin is more complicated than living life in the way that I always have.
So what wins – a life of margin or a life laid down?
Because, to lay down your life, in concept, is a one time thing. In reality it is a continual action. . .a way to love one another without thought of self. The greatest love. And I want to live there. . . in that greatest Love. In that place where in my weakness, He is strong. Where He becomes more as I become less. . . day after day after day.
It is much easier to die than to lay down your life day in and day out with the sense of the high calling of God. We are not made for the bright-shining moments of life, but we have to walk in the light of them in our everyday ways – Oswald Chambers