Last week I told you I was having some heart surgery. It was a heart catheter procedure and all went perfectly. I did have to spend one night in the hospital just to be safe. And sometimes, God sends you a detour.
The heart floor of the hospital is on the older wing and so all the rooms are still semi-private. I had a roommate. The the room was set up made it almost like two rooms but even at that you can still talk. My roommate was a talker.
Meet Al. Al was 71, an amputee with pneumonia and a couple other problems. He had a scruffy beard from being in the hospital for a couple weeks and the personality to match his beard. He was a nice, older guy who can be a little cantankerous now and then. Maybe, in Al’s case, a bit more now and not so much then. He was always needing something which made the nurses work a little harder but they were always kind. Yes, I did talk to Al a little bit. Sometimes it’s hard when you’re not exactly in the mood. But it’s what happened later that I want to tell you about.
Al didn’t sleep much and after I finally got to my room for the night at 9 p.m. I was pretty tired but Al introduced himself in his own way. It was just pleasantries and such we said to each other and about 1 a.m. I finally got to sleep no thanks to the music Al had playing. He wasn’t much of a quiet guy, you understand. Somehow, I managed to get a few hours sleep. All I had to do was wake up, wait for the doctor in the morning and then go home.
My doctor never showed. Not in the morning. I was stuck just waiting on my doctor. Lunch came and went. I was still being unusually patient. Then the fun began a little later in the afternoon.
The nurses had lots of things for Al to do during the day and Al had lots for the nurses to do. One Al can challenge the patience of about 4 nurses. I did try to encourage him some. Al was doing most of what he needed to but in the afternoon, things turned serious. Al had his breathing thing on and the nurse was there and he quit breathing. Yes, he coded. You didn’t know so many people and pieces of equipment could fit into one small hospital room. Doctors and nurses were doing all they could. I did all I could too. I prayed for Al. When all the fuss and furor was over, Al was still alive and kicking. Then he was transferred to ICU.
Finally about 5 p.m. I stopped being quite so nice and asked more forcefully about things. After about an hour, my nurse finally got the doctor. It seems he had forgotten me. Not exactly. He got called away on his way to see me. Then you understand how busy doctors are. My doctor came over to see me and apologized profusely. We had a good visit. Then I finally got to go home!
It was a day out of my life. A day I could have done lots of things. Lots of normal things I do every day. But God sent me on a detour. He said to wait at the hospital. Was it because Al needed prayer or did I need to learn more patience? There are different times in each of our lives God sends us on a detour. Why? We can’t always know now. But somewhere in that detour, in your change of plans, is something God wants you to learn or someone he wants you to help. Next time you miss your flight by 5 minutes or the weather ruins your plans, think about being on God’s detour. Let Him do the leading in your life and then each detour can become an adventure for God!
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