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8th September: Why Play for Time?

You have been born anew, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God; for all flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls, but the word of the Lord abid

Individuals are of unique value -- God's son died for them. But we tend to attach more importance to some than to others, especially in medicine, with its traditional hierarchy. The Bible, in fact, while commending a proper respect for seniority and authority, also reminds us repeatedly that 'all men are like grass'.

We are fortunate if our teachers command respect and affection. It may be proper to emulate ability, but it is another to covet success. This is a question of priorities, and whether we are prepared to take the long view. The decline of the famous is sad. The success of some may outlast that of others -- but not by much. Sudden or slow, the end is the same -- 'They fly forgotten, as a dream ...' The terminal poverty of the person who has lived for his work is as great as the one whose epitaph is 'Born a man. Died a grocer'.

The biblical reminder of the brevity of our lives is always coupled with the reminder of God's permanence. His word is constant, and has been embodied in Jesus Christ who is 'the same, yesterday, today and forever'.

'Listen everyone, everyone! High and low, rich and poor, all around the world.... There is no need to fear when times of trouble come, even though surrounded by enemies! They trust in their wealth and boast about how rich they are, yet not one of them, though rich as kings, can ransom his own brother from the penalty of sin! For a soul is far too precious to be ransomed by mere earthly wealth.... Though a man calls himself happy all through his life -- and the world loudly applauds success -- yet in the end he dies like everyone else... For man with all his pomp must die like any animal. But as for me, God will redeem my soul from the power of death, for he will receive me' (Ps 49 LB).

Further reading: Ps 103:8-19. 1 Pet 1:18-21.

DEBP

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