Recently, I thought about the demise of my nursing career. I haven’t worked in the medical field for over two years now. It’s a little frightening how fast I’ve lost the facts I had locked up in my head for so long.
Working at an OB/GYNE office for over twelve years, I had a wealth of knowledge about women’s health. I was a good resource for my daughter and daughter-in-law in their pregnancies. I knew which prenatal vitamin didn’t cause nausea. I could tell them how much fish they could eat in a week, and how to make deli meats safe. The ‘click, click, click’ of the stored information hummed along.
But now? I really have to dig to remember those things. Or sometimes, I have to admit that the information has ‘left the building’.
Before I worked in the office, I staffed cardiac floors in a hospital, cardiac cath lab, operating room, and I taught for a while. But there’s no way I could do that now.
Medicine moves fast. The drugs I gave back then are no longer in use. I used to know all the surgical instruments that lined the walls of the stock room. I don’t even want to know how many I’ve forgotten. I’d have to take a refresher course if I had to go back. Maybe I’d should take it twice!
I’m not planning to go back to nursing. I’m still going to give this writing thing a whirl. But I couldn’t help but compare the experience of returning to medicine to the experience of returning to God.
Getting back to hospital employment means school first. Then I’d hope to be hired over younger nurses, and the new graduates. If I was hired, I’d need a period of orientation, working with a preceptor who would monitor my work and decide when I could be left on my own. It’s a long process.
Compare that to being away from God. If I gave up on prayer and got too involved in a busy life, it’d be easy to wake up a few months later and realize that something is missing. Well, someone is missing. The relationship I had with my Father? Gone. It used to be so easy between us. But now it’s a thing of the past.
How do I get back again? Do I have to take a class? Will someone follow me around and make sure I’m doing the right things?
My thoughts turn to the Parable of the Prodigal Son. That child had it all, and then picked up and ran off with his dad’s money. He cut himself completely off from the family. After spending everything, and starving from lack of food, he decides to go back. Maybe he’ll be forgiven.
There were no ‘maybe’s’. He is immediately enfolded back into the family. No classes. No parole, no ankle bracelet. All he had to do was decide come back.
The return to nursing? Really hard.
The return to God? Really easy.
I just have to decide to come back, and really mean it.
Even now, the Lord says, return to me with all your heart Joel 2:12
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Linking today with: Unforced Rhythms