At 1:00 A.M. on Sunday morning, I had the pleasure of having an MRI. Magnetic resonance imaging does not use radiation like an x-ray, but powerful magnetic fields interacting somehow with radio frequencies to create an image of the area being scanned. We are most fortunate to have such modern technology in our regional hospital. I actually went to bed early Saturday evening and my eldest son kindly appeared out of the country darkness (despite my assertions that I could drive myself into the city) to drive me into our local regional hospital in time for the midnight admitting done through the Emergency Department. Midnight on a Saturday night at the emergency ward could inspire yet another blog. I was somewhat amazed by the number of persons in need at that particular hour.
I had experienced an MRI four years ago. I had forgotten just how “interesting” the process can be. On Sunday morning, I had the added pleasure of having my head cradled and strapped into an apparatus that prevented any movement. I could see the technician through the distant window by way of a strange mirror in front of my eyes. All metal jewellery and glasses removed and noise muffling headphones in place, I was moved into a very tight tubular space with the cryptic request that I not move for the next twenty-five minutes. In my right hand I clutched the panic bulb that I was to squeeze if I could simply not take any more. As I was moved into position, I comforted myself with the consolation of being able to pray undisturbed for the next twenty-five minutes. What an opportunity! Unfortunately, I had forgotten the loud irregular noises and periodic bone shaking vibrations that made up the next nearly one half of an hour. The machine literally cracks, pounds, rattles, thumps, shakes, contorts and whirrs for the whole time you are in it. I was completely and utterly unable to intelligibly pray. I just held my elbows painfully at my side and stared straight into the mirror waiting for the endless session to be over. “Help me Jesus” was about as far as I could get with my prayer session. The distractions of the machine are just too great. I made it through the session without moving and was soon back on the dark winter road to home no worse for the wear.
In many ways, I realize today that the MRI machine is very much like the modern world in which we live. We are all surrounded by constant distractions that keep up us from our communication with God. We are bombarded with media noise and worldly temptations. Amidst the noise, we are often taken further away from our Lord. I find solace in the actual words of Jesus in Matthew 6: 5-8.
5 ¶ "And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.
6 "But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.
7 "And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words.
8 "Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.
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