Thursday, February 26, 2015

Black Clouds and Pandemics

Being on-call is like a pandemic in our house.  There is a heated moment when you get to the middle or near-end of a strategy game, especially a game we have, which is actually called Pandemic.  In this game, the world is simulated as having a pandemic outbreak of a disease, and the players are the health team trying to stop the pandemic and find cures. 

We don't have an outbreak of disease in our actual household, thank goodness, we have an outbreak of the beeper going off throughout the night when Mike is on-call. Call days are clearly marked on our calendar.  "CALL" is exactly what I write on the top of each day Mike is on call; I dread it, he dreads it.  But it is a day set aside, part of the gig, and patients do not wait until the glossy hours of 9-5 to get sick, so someone has to be available.  We both know this full well, but this does not go without taking a toll on the household.

As a wife, it is almost impossible to relax until the call has been taken, the husband has recovered, and is awake and fully functional after the whiplash of getting back to daytime has worn off, and after the rehashing of the "black cloud." "Black cloud" is a big buzz word.  Apparently, Mike and his friend Brendon have black clouds that hover over their nights where they are on call, and that is where everyone gets really sick, just for them.  These two special doctors who are victimized by the black cloud, and their very gray skies leak right into the household. 

Brendon's wife and I don't believe in the "black cloud;"  even bringing up the "black cloud" in discussion is not helpful.  They are convinced, at least they say, that they are just going back through the last few calls they had, and "are on a bad streak" or "it only happens to them." As the war stories light up over double dates, I figure, at least they each have someone to bond with about this treacherous thing.

I'm not getting into whether a black cloud exists over these doctors or not.  I think many people believe this phenomenon, many who have thought to themselves:
  • I can't do anything right
  • This always happens to me
  • What is wrong with me that this keeps happening?
  • I must be doing something wrong!
  • Why me?
I will offer some plans and play-outs that may relieve these questions:
  • The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps. Prov 16:9
  • O Lord, you have searched me and known me!
    You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
        you discern my thoughts from afar.
    You search out my path and my lying down
        and are acquainted with all my ways.
    Even before a word is on my tongue,
        behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.
    You hem me in, behind and before,
        and lay your hand upon me.
    Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
        it is high; I cannot attain it. Psalm 139:1-6
  •  For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11
  • 31 For who is God, but the Lord?
        And who is a rock, except our God?—
    32 the God who equipped me with strength
        and made my way blameless.
    33 He made my feet like the feet of a deer
        and set me secure on the heights.
    34 He trains my hands for war,
        so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze. Psalm 18:31-34
What are your own personal black clouds or household pandemics?