Tuesday, April 07, 2009
I is for Idiot
I really wasn't going to keep writing about things that happened in the hospital, but I just re-discovered this picture and the first word that came to mind is IDIOT! And believe it or not I am actually referring to myself.
I mean what person in their right mind being quarantined from their sick siblings so that they don't give their father, who has just had quadruple bypass surgery, any kind of virus because he has a weakened immune system would go and add to the stress of all those things and further deplete their energy supply by giving blood and then dragging their mother, who isn't quite as experienced at giving blood as her daughter, into the adventure of giving blood too? Only an idiot. In this case, me. Did I think about the consequences? No! All I thought was, "Wow, I haven't given blood since I changed my phone number and now that the Red Cross doesn't call me any more because they don't have my new number I have been forgetting to give blood, so why don't I go give blood and give them my new phone number so they will start calling to remind me again." Oh, and, "Hey Mom, you wanna come with me?"
I realized I probably shouldn't have done that when my best friend virtually yelled at me via text, but I didn't call myself "Idiot!" until we were visiting my barely conscious father in his hospital room and Mom started feeling lightheaded enough to where she had to find a chair to sit down in. It was at that moment that I thought, "What have I done? Your mother is going to collapse right here in this hospital room and she'll probably break a bone or hit her head in the fall and then she'll have to be admitted to the hospital too and then you'll have both parents in the hospital at the same time and it's all your fault, you idiot!"
I've been called smart. I wouldn't go that far. I've been called observant and logical. That I'll admit to. I love the fact that with any strength there is an equal weakness. I wouldn't say and equal and opposite weakness because it seems to me that my weaknesses mirror my strengths.
For instance, in the not too distant past I was planning out my summer schedule—the conferences I needed to attend, the work I needed to accomplish, the job transition that needed to take place—around a trip that I was going to take to England. I had a travel voucher that was enough to cover the expense of the flight and so I set about to meticulously plot out what I needed to do so that I could be freed up to take the trip. And as the time approached I realized that I had absolutely no money to go to England. I had never had the money to go to England. All I had was a travel voucher that paid for the flight. What would I do when I got there? Sleep in the airport and fast for a week, wearing the same clothes because I didn't even have the money to pay the stupid new baggage fee? For all the time I spent planning what needed to be done here at home so that I could visit across the pond, it never once entered my mind to plan how things would play out once I got there. My strength was planning. My weakness...a lack of planning. I didn't go to England that year. And my summer schedule had a nice big week and a half hole in it where I didn't have to attend any conferences because I hadn't planned to be here to attend any.
Some times our greatest strengths can be our greatest weaknesses. The things we are so very good at we occasionally miss or mess up entirely either because of over confidence or because it is so second nature to us that we give up dedicating actual though to it. It's a kind of checks and balance. A great opportunity to learn the lessons of humility. There are times I need to call myself an idiot. Those are the times I am most reminded to pursue repentance and not seek to justify myself. It's a process!