When I was god


A few years back, I hit that phase of a young mans life where I questioned everything and feared nothing. I challenged every form of religion in open defiance because I had discovered the things I had been taught as a youth were lies. It was during this time that I decided the position of god was open so I bestowed the title upon myself.

A much older and wiser man now, I look back sometimes and wonder how it is that I survived without being struck down by a bolt of lightning or my own arrogance. I guess the old saying that god favors children and idiots is true because I somehow survived.

I did learn a few things from the experience that have remained important so perhaps I should share them now. I'm not endorsing sacrilege by any means. I was wrong to have thought myself anywhere near godlike but the lessons learned may still carry some importance.

The most important lesson I learned was the value of attitude. Your mind is your greatest tool. With it, you shape your destiny and your being. You can also control the environment around you.

To illustrate the point, when I was going through this phase, I was working in the nursing field. I was about 18 years old and very determined. I often ran several days at a time with no sleep simply because I didn't want to miss out on any of the experiences I had been deprived of in my former life.

In the nursing home where I worked, there was this elderly couple who lived at the end of the hall in the room on the right hand side of the corridor. I remember them perfectly. He slept in the first bed and she slept in the bed close to the window. She was in much worse health than he was but he had very bad COPD and sleep apnea. I remember them so well because even though they seemed ancient to me at the time, they were truly in love. I remember how he would hobble over to kiss her good night every single night before he went back to his own bed. Even at my young age, I knew that was something special.

This particular night, I came into work and I immediately noticed something was not right. He always sat at the bird cage to watch the birds and greet the night crew as they arrived but he wasn't there. I asked my nurse and she said he hadn't been feeling well so I quickly did first rounds and went down to check on the couple.

He was laying on the bed, obviously having trouble breathing, so I ran back to the nurses station to tell the nurse, who first scolded me for running in the hall and then went down to check on him. When we got back to the room, he was losing color because his poor old lungs simply were not providing the oxygen he needed. The nurse told me to sit with him while she went to check his chart.

Eternity passed... It seemed she had been gone for hours though it was in reality just a few minutes. When she returned, her message made me wish she hadn't. His family had listed the man as No Code. What this means in the nursing field is that no heroic measures can be taken to extend life. In other words, let the patient die without trying. I'm not good with that. I'm a sore loser and death is not something I just accept.

By this point, the little old lady had noticed something was horribly wrong and she had begun to cry pitifully. She was laying in her bed watching her husband, the father of her children and her mate of at least 50 years die because of a piece of paper. She called me over to her bed and looked up in my eyes and, in a voice like a pleading child's, said "Please, don't let him die."

Headstrong and stubborn, wanting desperately to make the tears stop, I looked at her and told her, "I won't let him. Nobody dies on my shift."

Inside I wasn't so sure, but I was god. If I said he couldn't die, he couldn't.

So I stayed with him the rest of the night. When he dozed and forgot to breathe, I was there to tap his chest and remind him. All night, I stayed by his side playing a gruesome tug of war with death. There were many times I thought I had lost and then I would whisper in his ear, "I'm god, dammit, BREATHE.", and he would. When I had to make my rounds, I made sure someone was sitting with him and I flat out told them, "If he's not breathing when I come back, someone else is going to be having trouble too."

In the end, it was a very long and exhausting night. I slept for two days straight afterwards but I kept my promise to that old woman. Her husband lived through the night. He passed away a few hours into the morning shift but I remember what she said to me when I came back to work. She wasn't angry that he had died. She was happy that I had stood beside him and fought to keep him alive. She gave me a really nice card and it traveled with me for several years until it was lost in a small fire that claimed most of my treasured possessions at the time but that experience taught me a lesson. It taught me that if I could master my own thoughts and control them, I would have control of whatever situation I was in.

I no longer claim to be a god. I have long since discovered that I am a far weaker man than I used to believe myself to be. I'm proud to say that I can offer my problems and concerns to a God who is much stronger, wiser and more powerful than I ever could have imagined. He is also long suffering and loving because he gave me the chance to learn these lessons without striking me dead. But the lesson imparted, whether a god or a man, is important. Your thoughts control who you are and what you can do. What could you accomplish if you set your mind to it?


Comments 7 comments

brightforyou profile image

brightforyou 6 years ago from Florida

Thanks for sharing such a well-written and beautiful story from your life. How right you are; our thoughts DO control who we are and what we do. It's odd though, because I often feel as though our thoughts 'have' us - we don't often invite them in and often 'forget' what are internal dialogue is saying. Your hub reminds me to continually remain in the "now" and that perhaps the key phrase is "if you set your mind to it" because half the time, we don't have a strong enough desire and combine it with action.

palmerlarryray profile image

palmerlarryray 6 years ago from Macon, Missouri Author

Thank you for your comment brightforyou. You are very correct in saying that we must combine our thoughts with the action to back it up.

An atheist friend of mine used to say that prayer was a way for Christians to think they were helping while doing nothing. The point he was making is that far too many of us don't back our prayers and intentions up with actions. Christian or not, we all fall into the trap of thinking something would be wonderful and then doing nothing to attain it.

prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 6 years ago from US

Its hard playing GOD, at least it is not too late, you are a humble man now and may all HIS blessings be with you and yours, Happy New Year, Maita

vrbmft profile image

vrbmft 6 years ago from Yucaipa, California

What a great story. I love the line, "I'm God....breathe! That is priceless. You know, you're just not old enough to be God, but you have all the other qualities!! Well, some of them!! I think God loves it when we are God, and when we are as good as you were that evening, it gives him a break for a few moments of eternity! Hey, I have been deeply involved assisting my son, David, with a book, he has been working at getting published for about four years now. For a birthday gift, I reformatted it for him and did a little editing, so I've not been blogging. The book is How To Stop Smoking Without Killing Anyone--I think! Maybe, it's Someone! Anywho, you left a comment on my blog about making peace. I really appreciate the comment. I have not made peace with many "pieces" of myself and I hadn't ralized it. So thanks, you youngster, you!


palmerlarryray profile image

palmerlarryray 6 years ago from Macon, Missouri Author

hey Maita, Thanks for the comment. Yes, it is a difficult thing to play god. I've had to do it far more often than I would recommend for anyone. Happy New Year to you as well. By the way, it's been snowing since Christmas here... will you please tell it to go back to Texas? lol

Vern... I missed you man. I got used to seeing a new post every day and then they were gone. :( I think you're right about god not minding too much when we try to help him out and shoulder some of the burden once in a while. I try to help where I can. I look forward to reading Davids book. I've tried to stop smoking a few times but it's very difficult for some reason. I think it's a subconcious connection to childhood. My grandparents all smoked and my grandfathers loved their pipes and cigars. I mostly smoke cigarettes now but only because my cigars cost too much. If he is really having a lot of trouble getting a publisher, why not try self publishing through an ebook or format the book for Amazon... I haven't used it myself but they have a service where you can self publish your books for digital book readers like Kindle and Nook.

vrbmft profile image

vrbmft 6 years ago from Yucaipa, California

That is exactly what we are doing--Create Space, the Amazon company I used for my book. We also have a cousin who is kindelizing it for him. HAPPY NEW YEAR. HOPE TO GET A COOUPLE OF HUBS OUT THIS WEEKEND

Moulik Mistry profile image

Moulik Mistry 6 years ago from Burdwan, West Bengal, India

Thank you for sharing this good story from your life - the god is still there, it is within you...

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