Ministerial Meandering


Triage is a French word.  Some of you may have known that already, but its use in daily parlance has changed from its original meaning, which was ‘to sort’.  Like sorting out your sock drawer, or how many forks you have that actually match for your vitally important dinner party.

We use the word today largely in the setting of injured casualties, either in a military or civilian setting - to sort out who needs treating first, and who can wait a while.  Pretty simple really - ‘treat first what kills first’ - has always been my motto, and funnily enough, it works!  After all, there’s no point fussing over some guy’s broken leg if he’s got a ferret stuck in his throat and can’t breathe.  If you’re quick, you might save the ferret too.

However, most of us are not particularly good at triage in our daily lives - and that leads to frustration, anger, resentment… and so on down the line; and before you know it, you’re reaching for the Swear Jar again.

There are at least two sorts of triage we need to practisein our days; one is mental triage, and the other is spiritual triage.

 The first will get us off to a good start of not wasting time, if we have a long list of ‘to-do’s’ (or ‘honey-do’s).  It is amazing how easily we can get distracted - particularly those of us who are now retired and don’t have to do everything on the list today.  The problem of that is that the list will inevitably get longer as we procrastinate (Latin; ’pro’ - forward, ‘cras’ - tomorrow; ergo, put off until tomorrow).  I’ll bet when we were working we were never late for work, never missed our time schedule for meetings, got all the stuff on our operating slates done - and so on.  But now…!!!

The other triage is the spiritual kind, which is actually alot easier to do in many ways.  Just tell yourself, ‘No breakfast before prayers’ - however short.  Even if it’s just the Lord’s Prayer - or a ‘Thy will be done’ - that’s okay.  It gets your mind right.

Did any of you see ‘Cool Hand Luke’?  Remember the bit near the start where the boss of the prison is ‘explaining’ what happens if people don’t understand that they mustn’t try and run away, or it will go very hard on them.

‘What we have here’, he says, ‘is a failure to communicate!  You got to get your mind right.’  

What we cannot afford is to have a ‘failure to communicate’ with God - whether you want to pray to the Father, Jesus, or the Holy Spirit doesn’t matter because they’re all One anyway; sometimes I pray to one, sometimes to the other - what the heck.

The point is that ‘triage’, of both mental - and especially spiritual - natures, needs to be an essential part of your waking up process - or you’ll be hooped for the rest of the day.  That I can promise you.  Then you’ll be really ‘out of sorts’. 


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