Transitioning to Addiction Medicine
. . . And take the helmet of salvation . . . Ephesians 6:17
When I got out of treatment, I was going to go into addiction medicine and save the world. I was naive. I’d just lost a job in the ER due to my addiction. My life and career were a total disaster. After a few months of being out of work, I was fortunate that the clinic in town hired me to work Urgent Care. I’ve been blessed to be there for almost six years, but in that time, various opportunities have come along and now, I’ve been able to transition into addiction medicine. I now spend most of my days in treatment centers and jails. It’s very different from anything I’ve done before and so, I’ve had to continually grow and learn many new things. This is humbling, but it’s necessary if I want to do my job well.
Early on in residency, I was granted my medical license. There was a very specific day I got my license and from that day forward, I’ve been able to practice medicine. I didn’t stop becoming on that day though. If I stopped becoming on that day, I’d be a terrible doctor. That day was just the beginning. I’ve had to continually grow, learn, and change. Now, as my career heads in a new direction, I’ve got to grow and change more than I have in a long time, even though I’ve been a practicing physician for over 20 years.
In today’s passage, Paul said something similar about our salvation. He said we must put on our salvation. In the Evangelical tradition I grew up in, we place a heavy emphasis on testimony – telling your story. In telling your story, you would usually describe your conversion – the point at which you came to faith. It’s a profoundly important event in life, but often, we see this salvation as something which is done and in the distant past. In his instruction at putting on the armor of God however, Paul told us to put on the helmet of salvation. Just like getting dressed, this is something we do every day to prepare ourselves for the evil and trials that the world throws at us.
Yes, I came to faith as a child and became a Christian at that point. I didn’t stop becoming though. God didn’t save me once and then stop saving me. Daily, as I turn to him, he continues to save me from the world and from myself. Yes, there was a point when I became a Christian, but my salvation goes on and it’s something which I must remember to live in daily. Thank God, he continues to save me every day.