Make Hay While The Sun Shines

“Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.” Jer. 6:16

Medicine. What a glamorous profession. High Salaries, prestige, respect, travel, speaking engagements, curing the sick, discovering new drugs. 

Medicine. Occasional tedium, exposure to a host of diseases, making an incorrect diagnosis, watching patients die, long hours, no sleep, no family time, malpractice suits. 

Medicine. Maybe not so glamorous after all. When a doctor spends most of the year trying to help their patients sort out various physical and mental ailments, while trying not to become emotionally involved, where do they go to heal their own wounded spirit? One doctor in Michigan goes back home to balance Vermont to help her father and brother with the haying. It’s elegantly simple work, she says. The job has a set of basic steps which, when followed, result in neatly bound bales of hay that are then trucked off the fields and sold the following winter. Haying is hot, sweaty, tiring work, but it has a satisfying, beginning, middle, and end…unlike medicine. 

All of us need an activity that is the antithesis of what we do all day. We need a cobweb clearer, a routine shaker. Those who engage in “mental” work all day often find crafts or hobbies that involve their hands to be very rewarding and enjoyable. Conversely, those who engage in hard manual labor often enjoy working puzzles, reading, or engaging in a course of study. Those who work with people in high stress environments frequently find great pleasure in gardening or other solitary activities. Those who work alone often enjoy spending their off hours with other people. 

We each need to be completely out of our normal work mode for a little while every day, and for a week or two when we can manage it. It’s a crucial part of living a balanced life!


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