A Gospel Rhythm
November 17, 2020
“But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith” (1 Timothy 6:11-12, NIV 1984).
He was a short, soft-spoken, rural, unimpressive man my age with a Vietnam Veteran’s cap. I finished dealing with his medical issues and asked him about Vietnam. He had served there for two years, ending his tour in a military hospital suffering from dehydration. He lost friends, like many soldiers I have known, and would not share much about his war experience. Five days after his discharge, he suffered a car wreck that nearly killed him. In fact, they covered his face with a sheet twice, but his hand twitched and he lived. He was a Golden Gloves boxer and spent his post war days dedicated to young men, teaching them to box, telling them about Jesus. “I even preached sometimes,” he said. “I played the drums, made it into the Rockabilly Hall of Fame, worked with Buford Pusser—you know, Walking Tall.” He wasn’t bragging, just laying out his life before me.
I’ve been pondering this patient for weeks, not certain what God is teaching me, but knowing that He is. I think He wants me to catch the picture of a full and meaningful life, to know a man who has lived it without fanfare day by day, one who will one day hear Jesus say, “Well done.” God is trying to show me a Godly rhythm to life.
As healthcare professionals, we are so goal oriented as we seek success in life. We have great intentions and do good things, many of them God-ordained things, some not. We strive continually to do more, sometimes led by God, other times by the crowd or our inner cry for self-fulfillment. Our focus is the outcomes and our contribution to them. We enjoy looking back and saying, “This is what I accomplished.”
My patient’s life speaks to me, “God bless your projects and your outcomes, but may He especially your life between the successes.” This man served his country. He used his skills to provide safety for his community and mentorship for young men. He played music, apparently well enough to be recognized, though not so much. He loved our Lord, shared Him with those around him and preached when called upon. Few will ever know his story, and he doesn’t really care. He took what came his way and lived it out in the moment. He lived a gospel rhythm, not for self-fulfillment, nor for recognition. He lived for others and for God in a small town, sort of like those who lived in Capernaum and Nazareth and changed the world.
Let me walk with You through this life, not so much focused on accomplishments and goals, but on each person, and each event, as an opportunity to serve and to glorify Your name.