Thursday, November 3, 2011
Today I heard Youth work be compared to triage. That really resonated with me. There are so many hurting people in the world who need the love of Christ and there are only so many hours in a day. I posted about this a couple years ago (see "A Day In The Life" post) and it still rings true today. Last week I had to decide if I should stay in the coffee shop with one teen who was going through a really hard time generally in life, or leave immediately and go help the girl who just texted me saying her mom had hit her. Both hurting, both in need of love. I make these choices of who gets my attention on a daily basis. I try to be everywhere for everyone and am always falling short of others expectations. Those girls I spend time with me regularly know that if they want to go for coffee with me and it's not an immediate emergency of some kind, that I will book them a time about one or two weeks in the future. Then I go to some conference somewhere and some guy on stage tells me to remember to come home with enough emotional space left to be a good spouse. Plus there are friends that I would like to see and family. Yup, it's triage. I have been in the past and still am at fault for not giving enough time to my friends and family because I'm dealing with crisis after crisis. So they get bumped down the triage list to somewhere at the bottom over and over again. They have been so very good to me! So understanding! Thank you everyone.
Having been working in the triage type method for the past 4 years however has taught me somethings. My definition of what an emergency is has changed dramatically. I used to think that if someone was crying it was an emergency and I needed to drop whatever I was doing and attend to them. Now however, if someone says it's an emergency they had better be bleeding or considering making themselves bleed seriously. THAT I consider it to be an emergency. And in the case of that sort of emergency I should not be the one called. Emergency personnel such as the RCMP or the paramedics should be called anyways.
The other thing I have learned is that there are very few things that must be talked about at 3am that can not be talked about at 9am the next day. Along with that things are usually better talked about at 9am then at 3am anyways.
So my triage methods have changed, and consequently I find myself with much more time for my husband, friends, and family. I could say that I wished people would have told me this years ago....but they did. I just had to learn it for myself.