Wednesday, March 25, 2009

such a need for control

How concerned I am with staying on top of things! I blame it on my job a little bit: every nurse takes so much pride in an organized room, a clean patient, a tidy flow sheet, checking every box. I wonder how much 7 months of ICU nursing has begun to effect my personal life? This rigorous work environment: do I bring it home to my lifestyle?

I think I do. I strive for fairly tight-fisted organization in many things these days. An example from this afternoon: the apartment is full of the aromas of chicken curry, which will be my dinner and lunch for the rest of the week. I could have come home from work and collapsed into a nap, curled up with a book, watched Into the Wild instead of waiting for when Elliott comes back next week. But instead I marched right off the T into the grocery store, purchased food for the rest of the week, walked swiftly home, and then cooked the entire meal while multi-tasking and listening to a sermon by Tim Keller.

Organization, simplicity, cleanliness, neatness, a place for everything and everything in its place... all of these are good and wonderful things, but I fear how they may be affecting my personal life. The other night I came home after a long 12-hour shift and tackled the dirty apartment with a fury, unleashing my frustration on dust bunnies and crusty dishes. Later my roommates pulled me aside and asked what was going on. Was dirt they couldn't see simmering deep inside me, festering passive aggressively into bitterness about the apartment's state of cleanliness?

The truth of it all is that I am filthy, disorganized, and all my righteousness are dirty rags, and it is only the purity of Jesus that gives this rocky soul any hope of sanctification. The desperation for tidiness inside me is only a reflection of where I put my hope: in cleaning solutions and color coordinatioon, in the appearance of things instead of the heart. Jesus, please, in this world where all that matters is the outward appearance: please show me my own sin and cleanse me from within.

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