Thursday, April 3, 2014

Taking the Last Cookie

I've recently started my preceptorship, which is considered the "capstone" to nursing school. It is the final part of your education where you integrate everything you learned throughout your four years and apply it in the hospital environment on a standard 12-hour shift basis. That's been going on for the past two weeks and I've gotten to be pretty friendly with all of the nursing staff and other personnel there in the ER. The best part about working there?

The nurse's lounge.

It's got big windows, and since you're cooped up in a small Emergency Department for 12 or more hours, it's nice to get the light shining in and see the outdoors when you sit down to take a break for lunch. I don't know what it is about all the nurses on the floor, though. They all have this intense love for sweets.

This past week, someone brought a platter of cookies into the nursing lounge, which means... fair game. I grabbed a few, and even though they weren't so great, I still ate them, happy to enjoy something sweet while working hard. Then, at one moment when I had stepped back into the lounge, I saw that out of the whole platter of 25+ cookies, there was only one left.

That cookie made me think. When a nurse walked in to the nurse's lounge and saw that last, solitary cookie sitting right there in the middle of an empty room, would it not be tempting to take it? But, surely, they would not. After all, it's just wrong to take the last cookie! And in no way would any nurse consider themselves such an evil person that they would even be tempted to enjoy the illicit goodness of consuming this last wonderful morsel.

"And he said to them, 'Then are you also without understanding? Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile him, since it enters not his heart but his stomach, and is expelled?'" (Mark 7)

Man is desperately wicked. Beyond all hope. And although no nurse would ever eat that last cookie in order to preserve their valued feelings of self-righteousness, the greedy desire to take it points to an innate wrong that exists inside all of us. It is a problem that begins first in the heart, and moves to outward action. Even if someone were to eat that baked good, it wouldn't prove that they were sinning by completing the action, but only that the sin was in their heart to begin with, whether or not they followed through.

This is man. Anyone who doubts his inherent sinfulness need only look at the nearest child, who does not need to be taught to lie, cheat, or steal. It is in him, as it is in us. It is this sinful heart that can only be restored by a sinless God. It is in Christ that we find a base-level, foundational change in the way that we even think. As for me, I've got a lot of sanctification and change that still needs to take place.

After all, I took the last cookie.


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