DON’T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF
So, this one time, in a hospital that will be nameless, my brother and I were on-call for our various specialities and this young woman is blue alighted in the front door. She is, what we call in the business, “Big Sick”. She will basically be dead in the next 10 minutes unless some very clever doctors decide exactly what’s wrong with her. All of this with no background information just — sick patient, gave birth a few weeks ago, collapses at home. Her vital signs are all over the place, drips are being put up left right and centre and here we are… big team, big problem.
So everyone does what they do but Colin and I get on with some very mundane things…
The big theory brains rush in the opposite direction away from our patient to the library (yes folks in these days that’s what happened) to read some theoretical stuff, the lab boys get down to analysing some very confusing data but what do Colin and I do?
Well, we put eyes on, hands-on, breathing tubes and lines in and some fancy drugs to make sure the patient had oxygen and a pulse. Two things which are pretty much a prerequisite for being alive.
Unlike our cleverer colleagues, we pretty much looked at the wood, we would get round to the trees later.
It can be very, very easy to get lost in detail and miss the big picture. The detail is important for sure, but sometimes you just have to have your eyes on the prize. For Colin and I that morning it was pretty much — keep this person alive until we can figure out what’s gone wrong, later. First things first. If the big brains had been left to figure out the minutiae first then the ending to this story — an alive patient — would have ended quite differently.
This is all very dramatic but it’s so true of life in general.
When you understand the big picture, the vision, follow it. The small stuff will slot into place. And it does this because it must.
Lord God, you are the beginning and the end and all that lies between
You are a quintillion threads leading us home to be within you once again.
We have less than a quintillion brain cells
And far less understanding
So keep our eyes on you
On the cross
On the big picture
And let things fall into line
Behind this scene
As it must
And ever shall be
LUKE 10: 38-42 (NIVUK)
38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, ‘Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!’
41 ‘Martha, Martha,’ the Lord answered, ‘you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed – or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.’