God in the Back of an Ambulance – Part 2

This is Part 2 of a 3-part series drawing connections between my faith, my interest in emergency services, and the theme of what happens when things don’t go your way.  For part 1, simply scroll down (if you’re on the main page of my blog) or CLICK HERE.

As I had mentioned in the last post, I had signed up for an EMT class just over the PA state line from where I go to school at WVU.  The class was set to start last Saturday, January 7th.

That Thursday, January 5th, while I was driving over the mountain into Canaan Valley for a day or two of skiing with my parents, I felt my phone buzz in my pocket.  A little bit later, when we arrived, I checked my voicemail, only to find that the phonecall had been from the school responsible for the EMT class.  My class had been cancelled because of low enrollment.  I wasn’t very happy.

As a side note, aren’t you glad I saved the heart-breaking part of the story for the second post?

Honestly, I’d like to think that an EMT class with only 5-6 people in it would be a lot better for the students (and their eventual patients) in the long run, but I’m aware that there is a point of diminishing returns as far as how much it costs to actually host such a class, so I’m not terribly upset.

Here’s the thing…

Throughout my life, I’ve been blessed with wonderful experiences of not getting things my way.  But how can not getting what you’ve been hoping for be a blessing?

Well you see, in high school, I really wanted to be the drum major of our high school marching band.  I had the leadership potential, and would like to believe I had the musicality, but when it came time to audition and select a candidate at the end of my sophomore year, someone else was selected.  At the time I was heart-broken, but just a few short weeks later, I was offered a job at Camp Lutherlyn, which I’ve blogged about in the past.

The responsibilities of being drum major required a lot of running around; attending various trainings and being at all of the band’s summer rehearsals.  If I had been selected drum major, I never would’ve been able to take the job at camp that first summer, and might never have worked at camp at all.

Think of the “butterfly effect” implications of me never working at camp…  During my five years on staff, I directly and indirectly worked with hundreds of kids.  I’m not naive enough to believe that I made lasting impressions on all of them, but let’s say I made an impact on at least one.  Where would he/she be today if I had never worked at camp?  Maybe they’d be in only a slightly different place, on only a slightly different path, but those campers that I interacted with would be different.

We could spend hours mind-numbingly analyzing and guessing (because it would only be a guess) how different things in the world would be if I had never worked at camp, but you could easily understand the magnitude of change by thinking about how I personally would be different.  I can tell you for a fact I wouldn’t be the same person.  I wouldn’t be as confident, as goofy, or as compassionate, and while I’ve always been fairly mature and responsible, I know for a fact that camp has boosted both of those traits infinitely over the years.  Furthermore, who KNOWS what sort of state my faith might be in.

The simple fact of the matter is that as much as I hoped and prayed to become the drum major, good things happened in spite of not getting it.  Great things, which were made possible specifically by the fact that I did NOT get what I wanted.  This isn’t the only time that such a thing has happened, I often try to see the proverbial glass as “half full” in anticipation of similar occurrences, and it’s amazing just how often your glass can turn out half full if you just have a little faith.

And so, it was with that anecdote in mind that I realized that I could not allow myself to be upset about missing out on taking an EMT class.  I knew that somewhere along the line, God was going to give me a different opportunity, a teachable moment, a way to see my glass as not only half-full but overflowing.

Who knew that moment would come so quickly… BUT, unfortunately, it doesn’t come until part 3, posted tomorrow or Friday.

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Posted on January 11, 2012, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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