To love or to be efficient -- that's the question
Gerald May writes,
A medical school professor I remember told his students that he found it more worthwhile to love his surgical instruments than to love his patients. "As soon as you start feeling your patients' pain," he said, "you start losing your skill." He was only trying to help.That story comes from the first chapter of May's book, The Awakened Heart. May has two main things to say in the chapter. First, human beings are created for love. May observes that people the world over hunger for love. He writes,
If you pause and look quietly inside, you may be able to sense something of your desire for love right now in this moment. Sometimes it is wonderful to touch this deep longing; it can seem expansive and joyful. At other times it can be painful, lonely, and even a little frightening. Whether it feels good or bad, its power and depth are awesome. (p. 2)
Second, we tend to make other things more important than love. May talks about how, as a young parent, he became too preoccupied with controlling his kids' lives so things would be just so.
What were my kids eating? Were they getting enough sleep? Would we be on time for the car pool? My concerns about efficiency began to eclipse the love they were meant to serve. (p. 4)
The Bible teaches that love is what being human is all about. But we become preoccupied with other desires and goals.
The medical professor was "only trying to help." Help with what? Making his students effective surgical technicians. Thus, a possible heart-to-heart connection between doctor and patient was eclipsed by a more expedient scalpel-to-flesh connection.
The question for you and me is, "What will this present moment be about -- giving and receiving love or making something just so?"