I have had many thoughts swirling through my head since getting off work last Wednesday morning, my week was filled with many things that made me take pause with “life” and reevaluate some things. I am not perfect, actually I am far from it, but I have a God that loves me and I am learning to accept that each day. Regardless of how far gone we go, if we are willing to take the step (or even be led into the right direction) He is willing to accept us — all the broken pieces and shattered dreams.
This past “on time” at work had me faced with three different “moments” in life. The first came when after saving a patient one night, we learned the next that it was to no avail and they passed away. No matter how much we strive or want to help people it it up to them to have the desire to help themselves and to want the change for it to be effective. The diabetics that continue to eat crap, just take a few more shots of insulin; the COPD patient that continues to smoke like a fright train; the cardiac patient that won’t take thirty minutes of time to walk daily, or ride a bike; and the obese patient that you can barely move that just doesn’t care anymore. We can do discharge teaching till we are blue in the face, discuss with them care plans to help them stop making frequent visits to see us in the ER…but until they truly want the change for themselves and see the benefits we are just flapping our jowls.
But I then reflected this back on self, how many times has God sent people into our lives to gently guide us down a path that will make us a better person; or how many opportunities has He given us to make changes in our lives. To come out of the mire and muck of the pig pen to be a better person, and to turn away from situations in our lives that will cause us pain and destruction (just like a diabetic eating a pound of chocolate and the COPD patient smoking); yet we ignore it. We may make changes for a season, but then in a moment of weakness or “need” we find ourselves back on the same path that we moved away from. Is it as frustrating for God as it is for a nurse when the ‘patient’ doesn’t listen to reason and accept the need for change?
The second “moment” in my life came in the wee hours of the morning, after we lost a patient and we were all trying to get our charting done and regroup; one of the EMT’s that was there in the facility finishing paperwork started talking about an attitude that I have of not wanting to help others. That was my whole purpose of being a nurse was to help others. There was one nurse that I admitted to having problems with. When I initially changed departments I would come in for my shift and start being ordered around like a peon; being told to do everything while they sat and played on facebook, left paperwork to be done later by the night crew, and basically just wiled away the last thirty minutes of their shift. Not allowing a computer to be available for the oncoming staff, and then to later find out that everything I was ‘ordered’ to do had not been charted while they played on facebook. Most the time when I come into work I have been up a total of maybe an hour; I am trying to get my bearings; and to be bombarded when I step through the door with demands and not request…yes I see that my attitude probably stinks. I took offense. I do not mind helping out, and if you need something ‘ask’. I know that life in the ER can get crazy, and some days are worse than others; but ask. I also understand that in emergency situations that I will be told what to do…I WANT to be told what to do. I have not had enough experience in those situations to just ‘do’, guide me. But if you are sitting on your haunches trying to get out of work earlier than the end of your shift, playing on facebook, and just leaving work for the night crew because they have “more time”…has not sat well. But I also see the downfall of my ways, and I need an attitude adjustment. My character will not be seen through the actions of others, but through my own actions. And if I personally want people to speak good of me and to see God through me, then my attitude needs some serious adjustments. This will be something that I pray for daily.
To wrap this up, I will focus on my title “Sinners in the hands of an
angry loving God”. Sunday night, March 2, our pastor preached a message that resonated deep within me. Many times we focus on the ‘wrong’ of our lives and we feel like we’re swimming in the deep end without floatation devices and we’re going under for the last time. The title was made famous by Jonathan Edwards, that started a revival of at that time unprecedented levels…but the focus of anger needs to be love. Bro Chuck made a comment about what justified meant, being allowed a clean slate “just as if we haven’t sinned”. There is so much in my life that I could wish for a ‘re do’ button, and I am still getting things ‘right’; but to know that God LOVES ME, regardless of all the muck, that’s big. Now to just accept the love, and grace, and mercy, and justification that is offered and build a life on what I KNOW to be true, rather than what the devil tries to make us feel and believe.