"More than anything else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it." (Proverbs 4:23)
As my son, a college student, has volunteered at a hospice unit near my workplace, we've had the opportunity to share many conversations during commuting and lunch breaks. I found myself marveling at how much my young son has grown in knowledge and insight. One day, as we discussed various events happening in the world, my son unexpectedly made the following statement:
"Dad, it seems like you're living a simple life."
A simple life? Considering the many responsibilities and people I interact with daily as physician and medical director, I had always thought of my life as quite complex. Thus, his words surprised me a bit. After further discussion with my son, I discovered his point:
"Dad, you come home every day and read the Bible and pray. Even when you're tired from work or facing challenges, you consistently read the Bible in the same place."
Through the recent Onnuri Bible College (OBC) Bible Reading School, I have gained the most significant benefit of establishing regular time for reading the Bible amidst my daily routine. Previously overlooked books like Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy became more profound through Pastor's lectures, offering me deeper knowledge and understanding. Observing the lives of various figures in the Old Testament prompted me to reflect on the twists and turns of my own life. Meditating on how God has accompanied me and directed my life gave me grace. I thought the words, "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path," resonated with the lyrics of hymn 200.
As the Bible reading became daily routine, that time brought comfort and peace to my life. Above all, a greater reverence for God grew in my heart. The desire to discover God's will and commandments beyond mere curiosity and to seek the ability to receive His word and pray has been rekindled.
Strangely, after a few weeks of starting the Bible Reading School, I naturally began to spend some time in prayer before God every day. I work as an internist, geriatrician, hospice physician, and medical director at nursing homes, interacting with families, frail elderly individuals, and patients awaiting the end of life due to terminal illnesses. While some live beautiful and peaceful lives, many suffer from incurable diseases, social isolation, economic difficulties, and various trials. In the United States, numerous facilities and programs strive to address these challenges. Unfortunately, there are always difficult problems that cannot be solved, creating challenges and trials even for those who care for these individuals.
Reading the Bible has become the most crucial way for me to guard my heart against the challenges and trials of the world, maintaining the sanctity of my life. In a world with diverse cultural perspectives, ever-changing societal norms and rules, and complex relationships, where I could easily make mistakes or choose the wrong path, God's word has become a guiding principle for me to live consistently. Furthermore, the joy I experience while reading the Bible helps to refresh my life. The living word of God, experienced as grace and peace, instills in me a belief that it can flow into our home, my workplace and my society.
After our conversation, my son agreed that a simple life is the best one. The simple life - walking with God's word, is a truly blessed life.