As a doctor, one of the routines I’ve noticed in the wards is the ‘inventory’ taking by the nurses as soon as they walk in for a shift. I’ve honestly been irritated with this practice sometimes, ‘cos while they’re taking stock of all what’s left and what’s needed and all that and handing over, the entire ward world comes to a standstill. They just will not begin the next thing without having taken the inventory up good and proper. So as sleep deprived residents running around to get multiple things done at the same time, it really touches a nerve when you’re shown the hand saying-talk to the hand till I finish checking inventory,doctor!
I’m pretty sure this routine exists in every office or place of work- except most times its not us who’s doing it.
It’s been a crazy crazy one month( which you might’ve figured by my prolonged absence from this space)- long long days trying to fill up your grey matter with relevant and irrelevant information prepping for a university exam, sleepless nights, overdosing on caffeine and trying to catch a few hours of rest in the unbearable overwhelming heat of summer. Not to mention the stress that comes along while your brain computes and permutes different outcomes to this exam.
And as the exams came to a close and it became time for me to start the job of packing up and moving to the next place, I , paused for a bit – the Lord put it in my heart to ‘take stock’.
Now what’s that even supposed to mean?
We live such busy lives, always on the move, always working on something, slaves to our schedules, or mastering a little more knowledge, we forget to stop a bit, and look around, and look at what has passed over the past few years. We get so caught up we forget why we actually started out in the first place or why we’re doing what we’re doing- end result being confused, bitter, burnt out human beings (if not now, at some point along the way).
So as I was getting ready to pick up my stuff and run towards the next thing, the Master, got me to sit down and look at whatever has transpired so far- the whole routine the sisters do just before a shift ,seemed to make sense. They needed to go into the next shift knowing fully what’s left to work with and where they need the stocks to be replenished.
I sat down, taking stock of all that the Lord helped me learn so far, all the relationships forged and nurtured- new ones, and old ones that get finer like wine as they age, all the places in my life I needed replenishment, and all that needs to be left behind and not carried on any further. I took some time out to really think as to why I started out on this journey in the first place, and where further does the Lord want me to go. And as I’m still in the process of taking stock before I begin the next lap of this race, I realise one thing has remained unchanged- the Lord’s faithfulness.
Through it all, He’s been faithful and true and an incredibly close friend. That, I can vouch for and that knowledge gives much needed strength and encouragement for the next step.
Through the valleys, in the darkest dungeons of despair, up on the hilltops and in bright sunlight, through tears and through weak smiles, through questions and doubts – He’ s always been there, and He’s been faithful.
Dear friend, are you in a place of burn out? Or simply have lost track? Or starting the next big thing?
Try this – sit down with the Master- and take stock.
“There was another in the fire
Standing next to me
There was another in the waters
Holding back the seas
And should I ever need reminding
Of how I’ve been set free
There is a cross that bears the burden
Where another died for me“
Another in the fire ( Hillsong United)