Thursday, July 14, 2016

When do you pray?

Someone hinted along the lines of

the police is like life insurance - no one thinks they need them until they do.

Might not apply to everyone as some people see the importance of life insurance likewise the police.

But what about God? My initial intent was to pose a question but then this just slipped through my head. Do we put God in this category? Or do we at times put God in this category? Where we don't need Him until we do our think we do? I've seen it many times where something happens and the response is let us pray. Yet we've gone around pretending there is no God. Is it times of sickness? Need for a job? A child? What drives you to the foot of the cross?

I just have a nagging feeling tonight to pray. I went to work this motor and I remember telling a patient "I actually prayed this morning and it seems like everything that can go wrong is going wrong". It was busy. And I believe I repeated that phrase to at least two more people. But is that really true?
 Let's see: what was going wrong with me besides being busy? Nothing. I actually had someone who came in for a joint replacement needing a higher level of care, and this was after a transfusion. But she was still cheerful. I had others with little minute issues and yet, they were all ok. Perhaps I expected things a bit slower and I hit the ground running. Everyone was busy. And I think I wasn't having it that bad. I got some passive aggressive attitude for just leaving at the time scheduled instead of staying extra and that made me just want to leave quickly when my time was up. I actually took care of some wonderful people today and if anything, they are the ones who should be saying things are going wrong.

Here's the defining moment: I went to sit on another unit, had my lunch, finished paperwork I didn't get chance to do running around and right when I'd started a note, I heard a thud. I thought someone had just dropped something but two others were going in that direction so I got up and a co-worker was down. She slipped with the people cleaning the floors. And this person is actually nice, genuinely too. So after all the hoopla, I wheeled them down to the ED. The whole situation was terrible. I really felt sorry for them and kept telling them that. I had an injury years ago and what someone said to me was it's part of the job, a job hazard. Terrible time but that is something I'll never tell someone. I don't think what this person went through is that and for anyone who reads this, please don't say that to another person or the phrase "it happens".

That said, who really has had a bad day. This person who was just doing her job? Or me who had been done and was just finishing up to leave? Then it occurred to me: everything that could happen had not happened! I could've been the one. I could've had something crazy and so on. I actually had lovely patients who had little things popping up here and there. But this epiphany didn't occur to me tilli was walking out. Then I thought it is really God who protects us. That silly phrase made it sound like I'd prayed and things were going wrong despite it, like my prayers were ineffective and it's as if I hadn't prayed? But that is the wrong way to look at it. Actually my prayers had been effective, had that not been the case, I could have ended up in many different scenarios. So what if by praying, I actually had the bigger stuff taken care off ? The real response is I'm so glad I prayed today Because it would have been worse had I not prayed. Now that I've taken my eyes off the "things that went wrong", I've actually decided to look at what went right.

  1. I almost rushed into a trade that would have gone south but being busy kept me away . I actually had an order that I cancelled. So my prayers were effective and were answered. 
  2. I could have had a terrible group. So again my prayers were answered.
  3. Also any crazy thing could have happened, like it did to my coworker for I had walk that same side prior.
So when do we feel our prayers have been answered? I think that should be the real question here. Is it when we pray and everything, I mean everything, goes well with us? Is it when we pray and get exactly what we asked for? Or is there another measuring stick we use to evaluate the results of our prayers?

Do we pause to think that maybe, just maybe we were given something better then we asked for? Or maybe what we asked want right for us except our myopic vision prevented us from seeing it. I've had instances in my life where I've said " Lord thank you for not giving me what I asked for" or " Lord thank You I actually got this instead of that". Unfortunately, it's always in hindsight for when I'm not getting what I've prayed for, the time is different, the attitude is different. Instead of it being thankful, it's one of questioning and wondering why? Why am I not getting whati prayed for? What have I done? Why won't God honor his word? And so much more and then sometimes it gets wise into the territory of accusing God. Lately I've said Lord let me know what you're doing so I don't fuss in the process. I'm thinking of Joseph knew what was ahead, he probably would have worried less knowing he was going to end up great and if Job knew what was going on behind the scenes, he would have mourned less. But if Satan, being that he's not all knowing like Good, had also been given inside knowledge to know that God would restore Job after everything, would he made gone ahead and wasted his energy tormenting him? I think that answer is yes. He likes to torment!

So when we pray, why can't we trust God to answer? Why would He who bids us to pray not answer? And why can't we accept that maybe the answer would be different than we expect? That maybe it would be better? And why can't we remember that sometimes he takes his time to answer? Perhaps waiting for the right time?

But telling God to let us in on what He's doing begs the question why can't we just trust Him and remember that he has our best interests at heart?

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