By Leslie Piet
There are days that you simply wonder what the heck is going on! And if you don’t know where you are supposed to be headed, it can be hard just to put one foot in front of the other.
Sometimes your direction seems clear but then roadblocks appear to come out of nowhere. I have found that it can be incredibly important to pay attention to those roadblocks as they seem to be telling you something about the choices either you have made or want to make.
Let me give you an example. Many years ago, a doctor friend of mine was having a very hard time being able to do what she thought was the right thing for her patient. She was a very knowledgeable person, and her heart was in the right place to be kind and supportive of her patient’s needs, but she was getting roadblocks from management entities who felt like they knew better what the patient needed than she did. There was definitely a power imbalance, and it was in their favor, not my friend’s.
At the time, I wasn’t someone who had enough experience and knowledge to be able to weigh in on the merits of her situation, but it slowly dawned on me that sometimes we encounter these roadblocks because one’s talents are more needed elsewhere. Instead of digging in, my doctor friend simply moved on to another area where, apparently, her talents were needed more.
The importance of prayer
Prayer is so helpful when you don’t know what to do. Many times, I use prayer to help quiet my heart when it is distressed. I ask for spiritual assistance to direct me to what God wants instead of what I want. Then I know it is the right thing to do.
But nobody is perfect, and that certainly includes me. When I take steps to head in a direction and the roadblocks appear, I am not always astute enough to pay attention. Sometimes I get “course corrections” that feel like a smack upside the head. It can be in the form of embarrassment, pushing too hard to get my way, or hurting someone’s feelings.
If I am “on course,” the path seems to be much smoother and less of a hassle to complete what was intended as a good action. Having a “right heart” and meaning to do good are important parts of that equation.
Lots of times I pray for guidance and try my best to follow along, not knowing what the eventual outcome is to be. I have learned it is best to try to listen more and not tell God what to do.
It is amazing how awesome God’s timing is and the fact that he really has a tremendous sense of humor. Hey, he gave us four kids and none of our younger friends ever would have predicted that! Our children are blessings that both my husband and I needed and for which we are grateful.
My prayer is sometimes in the form of, “Okay then, so what the heck do you want from me?” God will always answer, but not always the way you think he will.
Stay prayerful, pay attention, and listen, friends. Are you getting roadblocks? God is always willing to help you when you least expect it!
(Leslie Piet is a retired nurse and former member of the Aging with Dignity Board of Directors. She detailed her own cancer diagnosis and treatment in a previous commentary, “My Cancer Journey and the ‘Cures’ Act.”)