Life Lessons From Lot, Abraham and Vivien Thomas

The biblical character Lot is associated with the tragic story of Sodom and Gomorrah’s destruction. Lot was the righteous Abraham’s nephew. He chose to live apart from Abraham in the sinful cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, which led to his tragic downfall. Lot’s life is filled with examples of the consequences of greed and the negative influence of a sinful environment. Lot’s problems can all be traced back to his decision to leave Abraham. Relationships, particularly apprenticeships and mentorships, cannot be approached casually. Breaking off certain relationships could have disastrous consequences.

Alfred Blalock, a highly original scientific thinker, and his research assistant, Vivien Thomas, have inspired stories, books, and at least one film. Vivien Thomas overcame poverty and racism to become a cardiac surgery pioneer and a surgical technique instructor to many prominent surgeons in his days. He accomplished all of this despite having no formal postsecondary education. When his life savings were wiped out by the turbulent economy, Thomas was forced to abandon his plans to attend university and commit himself to working for Dr. Blalock. Working for the man provided him with the equivalent of advanced degrees, resources, and opportunities to do his best work that glorified God.

We need to reflect and think about the apprenticeships and mentorships in our lives in order to clarify the endgame. You don’t want to be another Lot who falls out of a divine relationship. Lot knew God, but he chose to live among people who would lead his family into sin and complacency simply because he believed Sodom would be more economically advantageous to him. There was no way Vivien Thomas would have had a chance to do the great and mighty things he did, if he didn’t commit to Alfred Blalock for the long term. Approach apprenticeships with discernment.

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