2. People are interesting. I do not remember the last time I saw this doctor, and I certainly didn't recall his personality. He entered the room with a loud, "Fancy meeting you here!" - like I had ever met him anywhere else. In the next few minutes, I learned that he grew up with missionary parents in India, and that he followed his brother's footsteps by choosing the medical field. I was surprised that I went for a simple, to-the-point physical and was receiving a riveting, far-from-to-the-point story of an interesting life.
3. Life is unpredictable. The doctor told me that three of his friends died in the last year, two unexpectedly. I suppose in the medical field he sees more of death and dying than most of us, but we all see some of it.
4. Wherever you are, be all there. Okay, so I first heard this from Jim Elliot, but I think our family doctor would agree. "Mom wanted me to be a preacher," he said. "I did not want to be a preacher." But he did not leave his faith out of his work. Shrugging his shoulders as he sat in his office, he explained, "I preach here a lot."
5. Your deepest influence may not be what you once thought. I imagine he realizes that he sometimes impacts patients like me. He probably knows he has an influence on children who are scared of his office or adults who are scared of major life changes. But as he began his medical career all those years ago, I doubt the doctor thought about what an influence he might have on those who work for him. After he left the room, I mentioned to the doctor's medical assistant that the doctor seemed like a neat boss. Without any hesitation, she agreed: "Oh, the best."
6. Ordinary can be extraordinary. It certainly was an interesting doctor visit. I wonder how many "ordinary" people have led such full lives and have so much to tell those of us who are still trying to decide how to fill our lives. Maybe the doctor will write some of his hard-earned wisdom down for us sometime. It is possible - "I may write a book one day," he told me. Meanwhile, he did offer one piece of advice:
"Just live each day with joy and grace."
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