A young man who had been reared on a farm decided to be a doctor in order that he might be of greater service to mankind. He felt that he could do more good and help more of his fellow men if he practiced medicine, than if he stayed on the farm.
The years in medical school were strenuous ones. There were many sacrifices on his part, and plenty of work and study. His father and mother entered into the sacrifice, too. They went without many things in order that the boy might stay in school. Finally he was graduated and served an internship, then went into a large city and began his chosen work.
Things did not go too well. He didn’t have many patients, and his income was not all he had expected. Evidence of his discouragement must have crept into his letters to his parents, for his father decided to go to the city to see his son. His visit was a pleasant surprise.
“Well, son,” he asked, “how are you getting along? How is your courage?”
“I’m not getting along at all, dad. I am not doing a thing. Maybe I made a mistake.”
The father tried to say something which would encourage the young doctor. He had helped him before, maybe he could do something now. So he did his best.
Later in the day the father went with his son to a free clinic, where the young man spent several hours each day without any remuneration. Twenty-five suffering patients were cared for as carefully as if the doctor were to receive a large check from each one. He spoke words of cheer, and left each one feeling better.
When they were alone again, the old gentleman said, “I thought you told me you were not doing anything. If I had given as much help to as many persons in a month as you have in a few hours this morning, I would thank God that I was good for something.”
“But there isn’t any money in it, dad,” the boy replied
“Money!” The old man said, with a tone of scorn in his voice. “What is money in comparison with being a help and a blessing to your fellow men? Forget the money. Don’t let it worry you. I will go back to the farm and work the rest of my life to help support you, for in that way I shall be a blessing, too. I shall be happy by day and sleep soundly at night in the thought that I have helped you to help your fellow men.”
By C. L. Paddock. Source: Signs of the Times, Copyright (c) January 30, 1951, Pacific Press. With permission from Dale Galusha [email protected]