Monday, June 09, 2014

The day of waiting

I have a To Do list app on my phone, and it's great! I can make lists, categorize, prioritize... but none of those little icons or crossed off items seem to do justice that is the hilarity of my day.  For example, yesterday.  The morning started with two things on the agenda: doctor's appointment with a new potential doctor, and read the rest of the day. Oh, if only it were that simple.

I overslept, so had to throw on some clothes and run out the door in the morning in a blazing panic. I managed to get to the office for my meet-and-greet just a few minutes late, and was welcomed by the receptionist and the student doctor, who took my info and gave the the requisition forms I needed for my pre-Africa blood work. We chatted for a few minutes before the senior doctor - the one who would actually be my doctor - was supposed to come in.  We chatted about Africa for a while, then on to him and where he was from... and the process of becoming certified in Canada... and where in Alberta he wanted to settle... and how people back home told him he'd never make it... and how his kids, age 9 and 6 loved to ride their bikes... and all the countries he'd lived in before Canada... and how he likes Alberta  but finds Calgary too big... and what the heck? I mean, he's nice and all, but this was a LOT of chit chat...

Eventually, he kind of looked at the door and told me, "Dr. D should make himself known any minute now... I hope I'm not too boring..." Oooooh, he was trying to fill time. The poor guy!  No, he wasn't boring, but usually if patients have to wait, they are left on their own.  Time passed... and passed... conversation dried up, he went back to his computer to look at the information.  "Anything else that is interesting that you could tell me about your medical history?" Some more awkward conversation...

Where was this Dr dude?

Over an hour later, I decided to leave, as I had other stuff to do that day.  Thankfully, having not actually eaten breakfast on my frantic flap out the door, I was well past the 12 hour fast required fro bloodwork, so I decided to try and go for a walk in and kill two birds with one stone.  The wait wasn't too bad for such a busy lab, and all went off without a hitch.

Oh, except somehow I manage to stab myself in the neck with my mechanical pencil, lodging a piece of lead under my skin.

Yep, I'm talented that way.

After the bloodwork, I hadn't eaten for about 17 hours, and I was RAVENOUS.  I stopped for lunch, lugging my backpack in with me so there was no risk of my laptop being stolen.  I was going to be lazy, but distinctly though, very likely it won't get stolen out of my car, but I'll sure kick myself if it does, just because I was too lazy to bring it in with me.

Um, isn't that what TRUNKS are for? Whatever. I hadn't eaten in 17 hours. I blame the brain fart on that!

I tried not to wolf down my lunch TOO fast, and then headed to school to settle in for an afternoon of solid reading, but when I parked, I realized.... I left my backpack at the lunch place! AURGH!  Back I went, and there it was, happily sitting on the chair where I left it.  I sheepishly grinned at the couple that was keeping my backpack company, grabbed it, and went BACK to school.

My backpack, however, had irritated the little piece of lead that was still in my neck. I tried to get some work done, but my fingers kept finding the irritating little bump, and the heebie-jeebies crept up.  A friend who was also studying that afternoon offered to try to dig it out with a pin I had in my purse (yes, we washed it!), but to no avail.

Approaching the "GET IT OUT! GET IT OUT!!!" stage, I abandoned my post again and went over to the clinic a block away.

"So, what seems to be the trouble today?"

I gave the nurse a good laugh - all in a day's work, right? The doctor came in and poked around, digging most of it out.  The rest will probably come out on its own, she said.  Or, you know, I'll have pencil lead in my neck for the rest of my life. One of those.

It was now about 3pm.  My doctor's appointment was at 9:30. I had such great plans for the day!

The rest of the day carried on without incident, but I had to try and work double time to make up for all the waiting and running around I did.  As I fell into bed around 1:30, my mind was swirling, thinking of all the time I spent just WAITING.  I was begrudging the wasted time, but then realized - it didn't have to be that way. It could have been praying time - time with God, bringing so many things to Him - friends, family, my future students in Kenya, missionaries I know around the world, world events...

I had such great plans for the day, but maybe God's plans for my day were to give me time to pray, and I missed the opportunity.  I'm not getting down on myself, because I know God is a God of grace and second, third, and three million eighty-fifth chances.  It was one day, and it certainly won't be the last time I wait in my life!  But I do certainly realize I have a long way to go in making prayer a reflex activity.

Maybe you're already great at this, but if not, let's you and me both try this: next time we're waiting - for a light, at the doctor's office, for a meeting to start, whatever - let's spend some time praying on behalf of those who need it in our lives, then watch and see what God will do!

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