Faith and Purpose in a Season of Crisis
“Be anxious in nothing, but in ALL things (through prayer and supplication, AND with thanksgiving) let your requests be made known to God, And the Peace of God (which surpasses ALL understanding) will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” Philippians 4:6
My prayer and wish for YOU- Our extended family- our supporters, our advocates in the community, the ones who identify and align yourselves with us and our vision at Somerset Surgery is that THIS peace may reign in your hearts and guard your minds. That you and your families will see this unusual season a blessing and a chance to grow.
No doubt- the cliché’s being bandied about in the media – “Unparalleled Threat to Humanity”, “Global Pandemic of Cataclysmic Proportion” have an element of truth to them, however melodramatic they may appear on the surface. To echo a few more- these are indeed “unchartered waters” and “unprecedented times”.
When looking for guidance amid the maelstrom of information and the deluge of statistics and opinions- all preoccupied with this single all-consuming topic, AND all of which seem to be changing and evolving by the hour……..It might be prudent to consult a source that is unchanging and constant through the ages, and remains a true, reliable source of wisdom and direction- The Holy Bible.
Romans 8:28 encourages us: “All things therefore work together to the GOOD of those who love the Lord- Who are called according to his purpose”
And later, in Philippians 4:6, we are admonished to: “Be anxious in nothing, but in ALL things (through prayer and supplication, AND with thanksgiving) let your requests be made known to God, And the Peace of God (which surpasses ALL understanding) will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus”
NOW- regardless of where you might find yourself, or what your personal convictions might be, in THIS time…..THIS season of doubt and uncertainty……and in the face of a new and unpredictable enemy- one that threatens to render all that made us feel secure (youth, health, influence, wealth, resource) null and void, even the most jaded and cynical person would be well served to seek peace, solace, comfort and reassurance in the promises of an OMNIpotent, OMNIscient, OMNIipresent, Creator and God.
I and my entire team at Somerset Surgery, who believe we are indeed “called according to His purpose” can testify to the fact that the scriptures above are true and that the God whom they extoll is faithful. By his grace, we have weathered many storms and have always emerged stronger, closer-knit, and more focussed on the vision, mission and destiny he has set before us.
I believe that a season like this of “external chaos”, with its “enforced isolation”, is a perfect milieu in which to embrace “still-ness”, and mindful contemplation.
It can serve as a rare chance to practice “productive inactivity”…….to actually spend the TIME you are ALWAYS saying you NEVER have….. doing EXACTLY the things you so often say you NEVER get the chance to do. After all- In the current situation there can be no self-loathing or judgement if you DO spend an afternoon on the couch, reading a book……. or sit on the patio with a coffee and watch the sun rise.
It is an invaluable opportunity to practice (in the confines of your “safe space”), the extremes of child-like abandon and exuberance, but also deep, unhurried, honest un-judgemental introspection.
Have a pillow-fight with the kids. Play volley-ball in the pool. Roll on the grass with the Labrador. Roast marshmallows over a fire. Play charades. Laugh till your sides hurt. Have the whole family pile into the big bed in the morning and seize the moment to find out what is happening in each-other’s busy lives- our hopes, our joys, our concerns, our challenges- All of it- from the most significant and cathartic, to the most silly and flippant.
Years from now, we might in retrospect realise that it was the very restrictions forced upon us in this unique time, that was a turning point for us- individually, as families, communities, countries, and even as “humankind”- The season in which we re-assessed, re-connected, re-united, re-focussed, re-routed, and the fulcrum form where we changed the trajectories of our lives- in regard to any number of facets- from priorities… to goals… to lifestyle…, to resources. A point where we were forced to stop chasing our own tails on the relentless merry-go-round of our daily lives…….where the hypnotizing mantra of “busy-ness” playing on endless repeat in our ears is… for once, muzzled…….allowing us to listen…..and really hear……..to observe…..and really see….what is truly important……and what is just distraction.
To paraphrase Dale Carnegie (which ironically ties in well with Philippeans 4:6 revealing its “universal truth”)- Any effort spent worrying about a situation you can’t change, is useless and wasteful. The lives, issues and circumstances we CAN influence are the ones that should rather benefit from that time and energy.
On that topic- The two commodities I have just mentioned- Time and Energy, are in my personal experience, the most valuable resources we have as people. They are also the ones we take most for granted, and realise too late that they are limited, elusive, easily wasted, and irrecoverable once they are gone.
To this I want to add the concepts of Vision and Destiny- without which time and energy cease to have value.
In the vastness of the eternity that awaits us, we have been placed, meticulously and intentionally in THIS place, for THIS moment, with a finite amount of time and energy with which to both discover and live out to fruition, the vision and destiny that has been set before us. It is our divine commission to positively impact the lives of others for Jesus- To make Him known- not necessarily through how fervently and vocally we proclaim Him, but also by how we serve… how we love… how we share… how we, without fanfare or self-promotion, live lives that honour Him, and stir the hearts of others to seek from us the reason why, amid the panic and hysteria, we have peace… why when others despair, we have faith… why when others hoard and fear lack, we give…
John 10:10 Says “The thief comes to kill and steal and destroy, but I have come that you may have life in Abundance”
Such “abundant life” is a promise from God, through Jesus… But walking in it is a choice we must make each day. In my career I am constantly confronted with people eager to be the very best versions of themselves- who want to confidently and without hesitation or self-consciousness impact others for good. Who want to cast off the fetters that hold them back from living their BEST lives- not only for themselves, but for the benefit of those around them.
Spiritual beings though we may be, for NOW we are clothed in a physical body that must serve us, and allow us to effectively serve others- to carry out our individual and corporate purposes in this life- without handicapping us or rendering us ineffective in our world. This is a reality we cannot ignore as it punctuates every moment of our every day.
I have learned that appropriate, well considered plastic and reconstructive surgery is a process of freeing people from prisons. Walking a path with my patients, I have learned as much from them as they have from me- possibly more. The physical healing my team and I have been able to achieve for our patients is paralleled – often superseded- by the emotional, psychological, interpersonal, and even spiritual healing they experience.
My approach- which is pervasive throughout all the different silo’s and offerings of my clinical practice, Somerset Surgery, MASC laser clinic, and our Orion Recovery Retreat has never been one of selling as much surgery and treatment to as many as possible…..but rather one of partnering with people who need help and guidance for legitimate and realistic concerns…..walking a road with them in a relationship of honest openness and trust, to an eventual destination of cure, restoration, and a renewed sense of “wholeness” and harmony- A place from where their value, impact and mission in society is able to flourish- joyous and unhindered.
My team and I look forward to seeing you all again soon with renewed vigour and optimism, with a heightened sense of purpose and focus. We are here, as we have been since 2006 , to help you on your path to living your best and most fulfilling lives.
Everybody leaves a legacy- Lets together commit that ours will be the following: “That the lives- the hearts- the minds we touch on our journey, will be happier, fuller and richer due to what we (in obedience to our God-given purpose) have imparted to them.
Wishing you all safety, peace, and blessing beyond measure.
Much love to you all,