While researchers began experimenting with organ transplantation in the 18th century, it wasn't until the mid-20th century that transplants became successful. Tissue typing, an international standard for matching potential organ donors with recipients, and immunosuppressant drugs are significant contributing factors for kidney, liver, heart, intestine, lung, and pancreas transplants today to be considered "routine".
Organ transplant is a mind-blowing discovery/application! For Dr. Joseph Murray, it must have been incredibly exhilarating and romantic (in a nerdy sort of way) to be the first doctor/scientist to complete and declare the first successful kidney transplant in 1954. Just "WOW". Yet Murray's success would not have been possible without the understanding of the kidney, surrounding tissues, or the immune system. Tissue typing, immunosuppressant drugs, or sterile medical tools would not exist without centuries of laborious studies that utilized the Scientific Method.
The Scientific Method, a 6-step process of experimentation to explore observations and answer questions, begins with asking a question (step 1) and ends with communicating the result (step 6). Many people ask these types of questions, and people love to hear the results, but few dare to take on steps 2 through 5. There's no fame or luxury in the intermediate steps. Each step can be grueling and time consuming - possibly taking decades or longer. It is often an iterative process; new information can arise, requiring the scientist to backup or repeat steps over and over. Just imagine the patience (or insanity) required to watch and record the tiniest details of bacterial or tissue growth under a microscope, day after day after day. But also consider this... organ transplant would not be possible without all those grueling, seemingly boring, in-between days.
Are you waiting on the "Someday Life"... you know, step 6 - the amazing outcome?
In her book "of Mess and Moxie", Jen Hatmaker describes the "Someday Life" as the one where our dreams finally come true, life gets miraculously easier, we get off high center, and all things we envisioned or hoped for materialize. The "Someday Life" seems to lack the ordinary and contains only the extraordinary. Maybe Dr. Murray experienced the "Someday Life" by performing a ground-breaking transplant. History teaches that the extraordinary rarely blossoms without the intertwining of ordinary and mundane to that of fierce courage, tenacity and endurance. The acknowledgement and realization of the extraordinariness of life (step 6) will be deficient without our today (steps 2-5).
E-V-E-R-Y day has purpose, no matter how mundane, difficult, or exciting. There is a middle ground between here and "arriving" in which we need to embrace as "holy ground", so to speak. A person in tune with God's character will neither consider themselves as too important or too unworthy to enjoy each day and circumstance given in this life. I painted a pretty grim, boring picture of steps 2-5 of the Scientific Method, but they truly are anything but boring. It's in the iterative process that scientists obtain little understood treasures of God's creation... things that can only be seen with a patient and quiet eye. In this setting, giddiness can strike over the most minute details, but they are details others may never understand or fathom because they are not in the trenches of steps 2-5, and only the scientist patient enough to acknowledge these minute details will understand the crucial role each plays in the overall extraordinary end result.
So now you have permission, get stuck in rush hour traffic, argue over nothing with your spouse, fix the broken washing machine, snuggle your wiggly toddler, tell your teen (again) to get off electronics, and listen as your neighbor recalls all the funny things his dog, Elvis, did today. Ordinary is not an indication of inferiority - it is instead an opportunity to look with a more keen eye. Do you see it? It's the beauty and purpose He established for you in the journey. If you learn something new, don't be afraid to backup and repeat steps; remember, it's an iterative process!
The "Someday Life" is now. The world may not yet accept it as extraordinary or exceptional, but it is truly exquisite in the hands of the Creator.
Featured Image Credit: Julian Howard