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3rd January: The Way (1) -- The Way of God

'This is the way, walk in it.' Isaiah 30:21

Sir William Osler, the famous physician of years gone by, whose name was a legend in his own day, once wrote a little book called 'A Way of Life'. It was the text of an address he gave to Yale University undergraduates in 1913. It would sound rather old-fashioned to a student audience today. But it nevertheless contained a good deal of homely yet shrewdly realistic advice intended for students but still very much to the point for a wider audience.

Osler saw dedication to medicine as a way of life, and he followed that way consistently and effectively. To some extent at least, it needs also to be a way of life for every good doctor. But there is more to life than medicine.

Following Christ is another way, a greater way. And it goes well with medicine, as indeed Osler acknowledged. In its earliest days Christianity was called The Way (Acts 9:2; 18:25-26; 19:9,23; 24:14,22). It was the Way of the Lord, the Way of God -- a concept already familiar from the Hebrew scriptures (eg 2 Sam 22:31; Ps 27:11; Ps 37:5). That is what Isaiah was talking about when he said: `This is the way, walk in it'. It is a way by which to live, a way in which to walk, a way to bring us to God. It is The Way. The prophet Jeremiah spells it out a little more fully:

This is what the Lord says:
`Stand at the crossroads and look;
ask for the ancient paths,
ask where the good way is, and walk in it,
and you will find rest for your souls' (Jer 6:16 NIV)

Lord, make your way plain before my feet, and grant me the grace
to walk in it faithfully and consistently.

Further reading: The passages cited in the text are all worth looking up.


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