Lessons from ICU. 8. What you do everyday, counts

One morning, when a physician had come into the ICU with his entourage of students, mostly interns doing MD, an aged patient next to me, went into some kind of shock. His vitals went down and like they show in movies and serials, the instrument panel to which he was connected sounded the alarm.

The physician asked the interns what would be the best possible treatment that they could administer to that patient, since they already knew his history. Some of the interns are old-class, so they went back to their notes; the others are modernized, so they took their smartphones and went looking for their notes. Then someone would suggest one treatment, and another would tell why that treatment would not work on this patient. This went on for nearly 8 minutes, after which they had a consensus about the treatment that could be given to the patient.

I was watching all these in amazement, because 8 minutes is a very long time for an aged patient at ICU, who was going into some shock. But fortunately, the staff nurses there were in a different league. As soon as the patient went into the shock, they called out to the head staff nurse, who gave the instructions to be followed and the treatment to be given (it took less than a minute for the staff nurses to decide on the same treatment for which the MD interns took nearly 8 minutes). In unison, they worked and in less than 2 minutes, they had stabilized the patient. By the time, the interns had decided on the right treatment, the patient was sleeping peacefully in his bed – thanks to the quick action of the nurses.

The physician-in-charge saw that I was observing all these things, looked at me and with a wry smile, said, “Thank God, you are depending on those nurses; not on these medical interns.”

So what happened there? The interns had knowledge about so many things, yet they lacked first –hand experience that the nurses had. When the time came for them to act, their inexperience showed. But then look at the nurses. They obviously know less than the students who are studying to be MD. And it is not like they face an emergency situation every day. It is not that they have drills everyday to prepare them for such emergencies. Yet, when things went wrong, they went about their job in a very calm and professional manner. How was that possible?

Because the staff nurses were doing the small, routine things everyday in a calm and professional manner. For them, this emergency situation is just an extension of what they have been doing all the time; except time and the severity of the position, everything else was the same. And they could face it with such a serenity that the interns who are trying to be MDs have to be ashamed. Though the interns know a lot more, they were not doing this on regular basis and hence when the situation demanded, they were found wanting.

Sometimes, we Christians are also like those interns. We know the importance of prayer. We read a lot about prayer and how effective it is. We hear people talking about how our prayer changes the course of history and we believe it. But, we have little experience praying. We always felt that when the time comes, we will be able to pray because we know everything about prayer. But then the day of evil arrives. Temptation comes like a thief and before we realize, we are enslaved into sin. All because we did not pray every single day.


But then there are some Christians who pray everyday. Probably not big prayers, but they pray everyday. Everyday morning, they have to spend few minutes in the presence of the LORD. Before doing anything, eating, drinking, dressing, anything at all, they have to pray. Prayer for the smallest things. Prayer for the biggest needs. For everything, they offer prayer. When we look at them, it looks like their Christian life is devoid of temptations and sins. But it is not true. They are tempted just like we are. Except that because they are praying everyday, when the temptation comes, their spirit is willing; though their flesh may be weak, their short prayers have become so powerful, they drive the temptations away just like that.


Dear child of God, let us pray continually. Let us always offer prayers to our Father in heaven, so that He may not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Let prayer be something that we do every single day with humility.



Posted on September 2, 2016, in Christian Life, Personal and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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