on a mission to embody grace and compassion in all relationships

Life is More than Work

As I write this post on my iPad before going to bed, I hear the words I have been saying to our chaplains on my team at the hospital.

(By the way, my paragraph formatting is a bit off in this blog post at the end regardless how many times I hit the Return key, because paragraphs and new lines do not translate in WordPress when written on an iPad, which is a good metaphor for where I am as well tonight.)

“Life is more than work,” “We are not robots,” “Don’t forget to have fun,” I preach convincingly.  “Spend time with a person(s) whose relationship matters to you.”  I said these things this week.
In the last week, I am one for four of the above.  Not good.

Our Staff Chaplains, Chaplain Residents and Interns are incredible people.  They carry the burdens, griefs, and anxieties of dozens of patients and families every day who are going through the hardest times.  They also pastor our 8,000+ employees through teaching seminars, grand rounds, pausing for hallway conversations, writing personal notes, and making followup phone calls.  They remind persons they are not alone, and that they are loved.  And our team is there 24/7 because a level one trauma center with a thousand patients, a dozen ICUs, never closes.

But back to me, which I often forget and put on the back burner.  Which is the problem.
I know better.
It’s time to remember to actually have fun outside work.  It’s time to remember I can only care for others as well as I care for myself.  It’s time to remember that life is precious.
How about you?  Do you forget to remember these things too?
What do you do to embrace life?
How do you discover your passion especially as we walk through this week of Passion and Passover?
We are not robots.  I heard my own vocal chords say those words.
Quick, help me remember, because my “life formatting” is a bit off.


  1. Pagan Chaplain

    Malcolm, this sounds not only like a still, small voice, but one that is getting louder.

    Listen to it.

    What can you do for yourself tomorrow? Make an appointment with yourself — off campus — two hours before the end of your work day, and keep it! Fill those two hours with whatever you need. The world will not end and you will be the better for it. And, in the long run, so will those who rely on you.


  2. Charles Kinnaird

    Malcolm, I just put this on my blog yesterday – something I wrote years ago, probably after not haven’t done what you advise here:

    Distant Hope

    There are some days
    When one is drained.
    Curiosity is flat.
    Mental strength is strained
    And spiritual energy is depleted.

    Watching a goldfinch
    At the thistle feeder
    Outside the kitchen window
    Is the only intellectual inquiry I can make
    And the only prayer I can offer.
    Yet today
    It is all I need
    To see hope on the wing.

  3. Malcolm

    Thank you PC, and Charlie, you are both balm for me at just the right time. I am starting to remember, but I don’t think this will be a quick fix today.

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