happy birthday mr hospital – dedicate everything you do to God

O Lord Jesus Christ, Only-begotten Son of Thy Eternal Father, Thou hast said with Thy most holy lips: “Without Me, you can do nothing.” My Lord and my God, in faith I embrace Thy words with my heart and soul, and bow before Thy goodness; help me, a sinner, to do in union with Thee this work which I am about to begin, in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

My last day on this trip to Thailand I spent with our team at one of our customer sites, a Hospital in Bangkok as they went through user acceptance testing of their new system. I had been informed that it was the “Hospital’s Birthday” today. On my earlier trip this week for a meeting I had seen posters in the lift for some weeks time mentioning a party to celebrate an event (what event I could not determine as my Thai reading is worse that my Thai speaking which is almost zero).

As I arrived at the hospital there was a large group of people praying to a statue of Buddha at the front of the hospital. On this day much of the hospital staff pray for it’s continued efforts and work. They also have monks visit and pray and bless the hospital.

How many Orthodox bless their work to this level? How many of us even say a prayer before beginning work of a day. At a guess the closest we might get would be a tradesmen having their vehicle blessed. I certainly understand that most of us could get in trouble for inviting a Priest into our corporate office (or the airplane for a business trip 😉 ) but that does not mean we cannot carry with us the Spirit of God in all we do, including our work as part of the “Liturgy after the Liturgy”. Certainly we celebrate our Church Feastdays and our names-days but I suspect many of us do not add this level of consciousness of our creator to our daily work (except perhaps clergy and monastics).

With work hours becoming longer and more and more consuming our life (hence my confusion at the concept of work / life balance – isn’t work part if life) it is even more important.

We are called to dedicate everything we do to Lord:

Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. (Hebrews 13:21 KJV)

Whether those I saw at the hospital were nominal in their approach to their faith or not, there was a real air of humility and duty in their approach to this celebration. Another example of what the luxury of the west has done to us. We are called to live as children of God, this is not so much a religion as a something that should be embedded in our day to day activities.

This focus may be an antedate to the duality of life many of us face between church life and home life. To take a short moment to focus your mind on the Lord before starting any task, before any meal, consecrating our life to the glory of God; the more we are focused on Him surely the less distracted we will be by our passions.

Thou, O my Christ, art the sum and fullness of all that is good; fill my soul with joy and gladness, and save me, for Thou alone art all-merciful. Amen.