Thursday, April 9, 2015

Our worth in public places…

Oswald Chambers once stated, “My worth to God in public is what I am in private.” That’s a strong statement that urges us to have a strong and well-centered spiritual life. We cannot do this work of hospice chaplaincy without a deepening spirituality. What are your spiritual development practices? A few years ago I spoke to a denominational leader and one of the questions he asked me (which showed his feelings about chaplains), “Where do you go to church, if you go.” Wow! That was a shocker. I told him where my wife and I went to church and how we were growing and so forth. That satisfied his curiosity, but what a shame that his experience with chaplains led him to believe that most do not worship on a regular basis at a faith community. Frankly, I can’t do without worship, be it corporate worship or private worship. Chaplaincy has the uncanny ability to drain one’s soul. If you don’t get re-filled, you dry up and blow away like dust. A corollary thought has to do with the benefits private and corporate worship have upon our lives. Last time I checked, I wasn’t able to walk on water, which indicates to me that I need God to work in my life and help me deal with the inner me. Francesco Guicciardini dropped a nugget of gold when he reminded us, “To rule self and subdue our passions is the more praiseworthy because so few know how to do it.” If we are to be of use to our patients and their families, we must have our inner man settled. My worth to my colleagues, patients, and their families, let alone my wife, children, and grandchildren is based in large part on my private devotional life. Bless you, Chaplain Colleagues, yours is a sacred work that will have wonderful success as you deepen your soul.

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