Match Day!

The results of the match, the process in which medical students get hooked up with a residency program for the next x number of years, came out today. My congratulations go out to you all, whether or not you got into the top residency of your choice. And regardless of whether or not you matched your dream residency, or had to scramble, or even didn’t match this time around, surviving medical school is no minor accomplishment.

I never really understood how the match worked. This article was pretty helpful, and pretty amazing that the guys who came up with it won the Nobel Prize. I’m sure the algorithm is super sophisticated, but from our standpoint, it seems like we rank the top choices, the residency programs do like-wise, and we just sit back and wait…and pray… that we get matched into one of the programs we ranked. The hardest part of it I think is just how out of our hands this part of the process is. We can do all that we can to buff up our resume and maximize our chances, but still results can turn out that don’t quite make sense.

As Christians, it’s a great time to remember that while we may not be in control, God certainly is. Somehow God’s sovereignty is still at work despite what we do (and don’t do), and His hand is still over not just our successes, but our setbacks (at least setbacks from our perspective) as well. Reading through the book of Acts recently, I saw how God used even the not so good things to further His kingdom. Jesus in Acts 1:8 commissioned His disciples to bring the Gospel to Judea, Samaria, and to the ends of the world. They did a great job bringing it to Judea, with thousands of people being added to the church.

Then the persecution came, Christians were jailed, beaten, and even put to death. Why would God allow such badness to happen? Well, as a result the believers were scattered throughout the Roman Empire, fortunately bringing the Gospel with them. Perhaps the disciples would have been perfectly happy worshipping and fellowshipping in Jerusalem, and so God allowed the persecution to prompt them along.

Some of you are undoubtedly excited right now, praise the Lord! Others, though, not too excited about where they ended up. While it’s absolutely fine to be disappointed, the encouragement is to praise the Lord also. Perhaps God has prepared a good work for you to do that you may not have chosen on your own. Whatever happens, we know that we have a good God who gives good gifts to His children. While sometimes those gifts don’t come in the way we would like, we can trust that God will take care of those who call on His name.

So again, a hearty congrats to all. Enjoy your last break before residency!

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good,for those who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

Sushi and Service: Combating the Monday Work Blues

A bunch of us had some fun over this weekend playing sushi chef. The result?

138743

For those who haven’t seen Jiro Dreams of Sushi, it’s a great documentary about Jiro, a sushi chef who has dedicated his life to his craft. Even if you aren’t interested in sushi, it’s a worthwhile watch and has a lot of lessons on dedication, handwork, and the pursuit of excellence.¬†At one point Jiro says, “Once you decide on your occupation… you must immerse yourself in your work. You have to fall in love with your work. Never complain about your job. You must dedicate your life to mastering your skill. That’s the secret of success.”

I think many of us are envious of someone who is able to view his or her job in that way. Oftentimes, even if we are in fields that we enjoy, work can become tedious and mundane. I just read a great book, Every Good¬†Endeavor by Tim Keller, about how sin has affected not just our view of work, but our experience of work as well. As God’s image bearers, we are created for purpose, to do work that matters, but sin has brought frustration both in the results of work, and also our motivations to work. Instead of working to fulfill our role to image God throughout creation, we are tempted to find our significance in our accomplishments, making work another idol that replaces God in our lives.

I’ll probably write another post about the book when I have processed it more, but for now, I was just encouraged to remember that yes we should strive for excellence in our work, but not simply as an end goal. We strive for excellence because of the God that we do our work for. As one retreat speaker used to say, we should pursue excellence for His Excellency. This goes out to all who are feeling the Monday work blues.

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.” Colossians 3:23-24