When God Calls a Workhorse to Be a Surgeon

In my fathers day card to dad this year I thanked him for putting up with such as spaz of a son (me). This may sound quite demeaning to myself, but the truth is God did create me as a spaz.

It will probably help to define what I mean by spaz since it means different things to different people.

My definition of it is someone who enjoys working hard (physical labor in particular) but hates the planning stages of said work. In other words I don’t think a lot about a job before getting started.

My dad on the other hand is someone who loves the planning portion of a job, and is quite meticulous about it [1]. As you can imagine this created some challenges on Saturday mornings as teenager [2].

If you will allow me to take this analogy one step farther I’m a workhorse (someone who enjoys attacking a job) and my dad’s a surgeon (someone who enjoys being slow and methodical instead of diving in).

Actually there is a need for both kinds of people in the world. There obviously isn’t enough time in the world to be a surgeon about everything. And of course my beloved “don’t think just do” approach will result in lots of jobs that aren’t done very well.

So it isn’t necessary to become a “surgeon” all the time because God hasn’t created me that way [3] but I do need to know when it’s time to become one.

Teaching theology classes in Bangladesh was a very interesting experience because it put me (a workhorse) into a situation where I had to be a surgeon.

  1. Because I was dealing with men who spoke a different language
  2. Because I was teaching foundational truths of Scripture
  3. Because much of what they were learning was entirely new to them
  4. Because the students had many questions

More than once in a first days of class the Lord reminded me it wasn’t time to be a workhorse.

  1. It was time to speak slowly and make sure everyone understood
  2. It was time to spend hours creating forty power-point presentations and lesson plans
  3. It was time to carefully answer each of their questions
  4. It was time to be a surgeon

Yesterday I helped clear my parents patio of furniture, plants, and tables so we could paint it. About a half-hour was spent carrying things down the steps and coming back up in 90 degree heat…and I couldn’t have been happier being in my workhorse element.

But at the same time it’s good to know God occasionally calls a workhorse to become a surgeon (or a surgeon a workhorse) and in those moments He gives us the Grace to do it.

  1. I’ll be the first person to admit this is a much better way to approach work  ↩
  2. I kept trying to walk away and do the job while dad was on step three of his preparation process 🙂  ↩
  3. and workhorses fill a great need in society  ↩

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