A few days ago I posted an instagram photo of my fitbit stats for the day…(see above).
I average about 5-7k steps per day at work or about 2 miles or so. I try to get my fitbit to think I exercised by walking faster from one hospital to the other. I try never to take the elevator because I work with a surgeon who is probably 20 years older than me or so and walks up 7 flights of stairs to see her patients…if she can do it so can I (#humblebrag). At the end of the day referenced above my feet and my back hurt. Most days those miles I walk at work weigh heavy on me. Most days involve 10-12 hours of work, email or paperwork at home, phone calls and left over worry from the days work…so I have little to no sympathy for others who feel their days are long and hard; feeling mine was longer and certainly more challenging. Most days…
But this day was different. For some reason I remembered to be grateful for the wonderful colleagues that surround and support me daily, for the gift of being able to participate in the healing of bodies and hearts, and for the privilege of being able to participate in the birth of new life. Why today? Most days I spend more time remembering how few thank you’s I hear, how I have more paperwork than you can imagine and how I am usually still at work when most of my friends have gone home to enjoy their families. Here’s the thing…I can’t tell you why this day was different.
That’s the way Grace works. And Mercy too. It creeps in on you when you’re not looking or expecting. Or at least it does for me. I’m minding my own business, being selfish and self-righteous, and all of the sudden you’re wading in it. The heavy realization that I am who I am, where I am, doing what I do as an extension of grace and mercy. That my successes are not my own but are simply a result of His grace and mercy. And the wonderful flip side to that same coin: my failures aren’t too big for that grace and mercy either.
So now I am left with the puzzling question of how to live in that pool of grace and mercy every day. It is too easy to forget. In a world where it seems that everyone has picture perfect lives spread neatly across social media platforms, there isn’t much need for grace. But in reality, life is messy. And hard. So we desperately need to practice extending grace and mercy to ourselves and to each other. What does that look like? I’m not sure but I think it’s writing a note, extending a hand or a hug, giving someone else the benefit of the doubt and reminding yourself on a daily basis that you don’t walk through the hallways of life alone. I don’t climb those stairs in the hospital alone. He has given me a wonderful community of people to walk and climb through life with and He walks alongside me as well each day.
So here’s my advice to myself. Maybe it will work for you. I hope the next time I find myself in an eye-rolling situation…think bad internet medical advice, people complaining about how hard they work, picture perfect life posts…maybe I won’t roll my eyes as hard. Maybe I’ll give just a moment of thought to reflect on what today’s graces have been and how I can provide mercy to someone around me. No promises…I mean I’m pretty good at eye rolling…but maybe.