God in my ambulance?
Jason has an entry in his blog about God.
Wow, man. That's a heavy topic. In fact, I have made it a habit to NEVER discuss politics, religion or any extremely contentious social issues. It always turns out bad and I've yet to change anyone's mind (or vice-versa).
With that said, here we go:
"Who here prays before they arrive on a scene? It's become second nature to me to say a little prayer on the way to a scene for God to help guide my hands and mind to help my patient, and for Him to be with the patient. I'm sure it helps, and it sure helps give me a better feeling about the events that are about to unfold (which probably gives me a better self-confidence, which in turn allows me to perform my duties better)."
First of all, I don't publicly adhere to a specific religious affiliation and I make no claims as to the evidence or belief in a supreme being/higher intelligence/divine force. I was raised in a Judeo-christian faith and I'm sure it has colored my approach to divinity. I have also extensively studied, practiced and read many Eastern beliefs and doctrines and draw upon them as well.
My relationship with the supernatural/divine/higher power/spiritual force is an extremely personal one. How that fits into my work with life and death and my influence on it can be summed up as this. If there is one, the Man(Woman?) upstairs is in charge of the afterlife. Everything up to that point is my problem. I don't mess around in the afterlife, She (He?) doesn't mess around down here in the dirt. It's that simple.
From the Tao Te Ching By Lao Tzu (about 2,500 years ago): "Heaven and Earth are impartial; they treat all creation as straw dogs."
I'm here to do something. That's to be a Medic. I know I'm going to die. I know I won't be famous or immortalized in my artistic works. I don't have the pride to think I'm going to contribute something bigger than myself. I'm just a foot soldier. I will work to do my best to save every life I can and alleviate as much suffering as I can. I'll fight each battle with the tenacity as if it were my last and with the energy as if it were my first. I'm alone. Nobody's guiding me but me.
The Hokkagare (the "manual" of the Bushido, or Samurai, code) says, "The Samurai embraces death. He breathes each breath as if it were his last and welcomes death into his heart. By doing so he is free of fear." (badly paraphrased, I'm sure)
Each moment is the last. Each patient is the only patient I have. Each call is the most important call ever. I fight each "battle" without focusing on losing, I only focus on winning.
Now, please know this: This entire entry is my own personal approach to the divine in EMS. I, in no way, mean to make a judgment on how anyone else does it. It's important that everyone find their path and I'm not prideful enough to think I have the answers. I can understand where Jason's coming from and I'm pleased he has a path. I merely intend to share a bit of my own.
The "GOD" question? My answer: I don't know. All I know is my patient before me, my tools, my talent and the battle is on.
From the Tao Te Ching again: "Love the whole world as if it were yourself; then you can truly care for all things."