Murphy, My Muse

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. – Isaiah 55:8

If you have been reading this blog for any time, you know that many of my stories are based on “Murphy’s Law,” (“Anything that can go wrong, will.”) – and on Romans 8:28 (“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”) When we see everything going “wrong” and later find out “it’s all good,” we have the privilege of gaining “divine perspective.” I have come to the conclusion that if there is a Murphy, he’s an angel whose assignment is to keep us all humble, patient, and grateful.

I had one of those “Murphy days” Monday. The schedule was – I thought – a simple one: Stop by the hospital for a blood draw at 8:30, proceed to another appointment about 10 minutes away at 9:15, then get home in time to grab coffee/breakfast/brunch with my daughter Kelly before she left to go back to her home town. The only negative in my day was that I had to fast for the blood draw. But I figured that would make breakfast with Kelly all the sweeter.

Then Murphy showed up.

I realized on the way that I had forgotten my cell phone, but going back for it would put me behind on everything, so I proceeded to the hospital.

Stuck in the waiting room with no cellular diversions, I did physical therapy on my hands and tried to focus on prayers. As the minutes ticked by, I felt the stress/impatience growing, and my prayers centered on my attitude. (Since my earrings displayed the words “Amazing Grace,” I didn’t want to deny that grace by acting like a jerk.)

I’m not sure what the hold-up was; I was puzzled to see one or two nurses standing around the lab, looking bored. After about a half hour, I went to the window to reschedule. I was told if I could stay just a little longer … I said I couldn’t, I had another appointment. (I didn’t want to be charged for a missed appointment, through circumstances beyond my control.) They said I could come back later.

As I drove past my street, I thought wistfully of how I had looked forward to grabbing a cup of coffee on my way to my second appointment, but then realized that because of the fasting order I probably shouldn’t, anyway.

Arriving at my second appointment, still without a phone to call from the parking lot as requested, I went in and waited for the receptionist to get off the phone. I was seated, waited in the waiting room, waited in the examining room, had my exam, and hurried back to the hospital.

By that time there were zero parking spots, and as I joined the other cars circling like vultures, I saw a man get into his car. I sat with my blinker on, waiting for him to leave but after a few minutes realized he was reading over all his paperwork. After another quick prayer for my attitude, I walked over and tapped on his window.

“Excuse me, are you leaving?” I asked – smiling. He said “Yes,” apologetically, I said “Thanks,” and he pulled out.

Back at the lab, the waiting room was full. Not wanting to be “that person,” I nevertheless asked as sweetly as I could if I had been placed at the end of the line again …

[Yep.]

More prayers for patience, followed by a couple of pleasant conversations with others who were waiting. One of them let me borrow her phone to send Kelly a message. The other said she liked my earrings.

At about 11:00 I was called back and sat in the little room there waiting for the blood draw. After a few more minutes of fantasizing about coffee and listening to my stomach growl, the nurse came in and said, “Take off your face covering.”

I gladly removed it. “Um … why?” I asked, confused. The nurse laughed.

“I can’t get to your nose through it.” … My nose?

Next thing I knew I had a long stick up my nose, as I told her I was there for a blood draw, not a Covid test!

She glanced at the chart, said, “Your chart says ‘Covid test,'” and shoved a second stick up the other nostril.

(Now I was REALLY praying for my attitude.)

“No, I’m hear for a blood draw. It was supposed to happen at 8:30 this morning. And I haven’t had any food – or coffee – today,” I added with mock desperation. We both chuckled.

“Uh-oh,” said the nurse, “are you gonna get mean?”

I smirked. “If I do, just know it’s not you, it’s me,” I warned. She left to talk to my doctor.

[More waiting. More prayers. More attitude work.]

At last I got the blood draw, and after some joking around, I told her I was a writer, and opined that “If everything always went as planned, what would I write about?” She laughed and asked about what I wrote. I ended up leaving her one of my cards – which I wouldn’t have dared to do if I had let my impatience turn me into a seething monster.

As I drove home, I was thinking blissfully, at long last my morning (barely) coffee was merely blocks away!

But Murphy …

As the funeral procession passed, I pulled over to pay my respects. And wait some more …

OK, Murphy, I get it. There are people in those cars having a way worse day than I’m having.

Now I was finally praying for someone besides myself. And as my thoughts and prayers went out to the mourners and on to the horrific things happening all over the world, I knew how blessed (SPOILED) I am.

Thanks, Murphy.

Prayer: Father, help us to focus beyond our own needs and wants. We know that You have promised to supply all our needs according to Your glorious riches in Christ Jesus,* and that if we delight in You, You will give us the desires of our hearts.** Help us to step beyond ourselves and use the power of prayer You’ve given us to impact the world in a significant way, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

*Philippians 4:19 ** Psalm 37:4

50 thoughts on “Murphy, My Muse

  1. Oh my, I’m sorry but this was fun to read, these β€œMurphy” stories always have a good storyline and lesson! Thanks for sharing and setting a good example, not letting Murphy get the best of you!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Great post, Annie.
    I laughed when you were asked to take off your mask….
    It’s lucky that most mix-ups that occur in medical clinics are not known to the public.
    After all, physicians ‘practise’ medicine.
    I really identified with your description of cars circling like vultures. πŸŒ·πŸ€—

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Right, Sally. A nurse friend of mine was telling me about mistakes made in surgery – just before I had surgery! The morning of the surgery I wore a sign around my neck: “NOTICE: This patient is in for SINUS surgery. DO NOT AMPUTATE ANYTHING!!! If found, please return to Dr. ____ ________.”

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Hahaha…Annie, actually, the sign was a good idea ! Now I am still laughing…πŸ˜„
        I hope that everything went well with your sinus surgery 🌷🌼

        Liked by 1 person

    2. When the doctor ran by on his way to surgery, he did a double take, read my sign, laughed, and said, “Don’t worry, nobody’s going to touch you except me.” A month later I was thinking, “if nobody touched me except him, why am I getting bills from everyone and his brother?” :/

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Practicing grace needs a lot of prayer otherwise we succumb to the situation
    I love your Murphy stories Annie . It teaches me a lot and gives me a chuckle with the way you write it.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. “I have come to the conclusion that if there is a Murphy, he’s an angel whose assignment is to keep us all humble, patient, and grateful.” Saving this for a signature on some emails. 😁
    Tricky to connect Romans 8 to Murphy’s law, but essential if one is “seekingdivineperspective.”

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Looking at the world through the eyes of the One who made it helps…sometimes. I still have that innate sense that”I know better than them”…but He knows me. He does order my steps.
    Fantastic post!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Yes, I am still learning to see the inconveniences of life and its problems in the light of God’s sovereignty over my life. As you know, we have a mice infestation, and daily I have to surrender that to the Lord. We are doing what we know to do, but some of this is beyond our control. The Lord did turn it into a parable, which he does sometimes, and so a good lesson came from it. But I am learning to keep trusting the Lord through it all. Thanks for sharing your story.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. You are too hard on yourself, seekingdevineperspective. After reading your blog, looks like you (or your guardian angel) had everything under control. You alone thought you were in control. But you weren’t. When does a man or women rob God…in prayers and offerings. Always offer up “keeping” prayers to God. Because he alone sure nuf kept you on that day with or without coffee or cell phone. Have a blessed day. (And always carry your business cards and religious tracts in your purse.)

    Liked by 1 person

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