The patient was crashing. His airway was managed by the anesthesiologist–but there was no pulse.
I was shaking. And I’m sure everyone in the room could see it.
But I knew what to do. Because we rehearsed this type of crisis regularly.
That doesn’t necessarily take the fear away. It also doesn’t automatically make you know exactly what needs to happen. But that training can definitely push back against that panicky feeling you feel rising in your throat.
I read a Doctor who wrote, “A big part of my job is to be the calmest person in the room. Even if I don’t know exactly what to do. I have to lead with calmness.”
One of my seminary professors, John D. Hannah, used to tell us that being a pastor is similar to being a pilot. Lots of meticulous hours are spent in preparedness to handle crises. Make ready your souls.
Now, you won’t have to land a plane on the Hudson River. But you will have to respond to calls that make you quake inside. If you respond wisely with calm and clarity, people will praise the Lord, and probably thank you more than you feel you deserve.
Christians, we worship a God that can handle any crisis that comes our way. He’s perfectly competent; He requires no re-certifications; He always knows exactly what to do. And He did it when He sent His Son, Jesus Christ to live and die and live again to heal us from our crashing selves.
With perfect, deliberate calm.