Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Alert and Oriented Times Zero

Alert and Oriented Times Zero
According the John Eldridge in the opening chapter of 'Waking the Dead' when a rescuer treats injured patients one of the first assessments done regards the present mental functioning of the victim....read on to see how Eldridge sets this up and I'll be back to ask you a few questions at the end of this.

"When Spillane (The Perfect Storm) treats injured seamen offshore, one of the first things he evaluates is their degree of consciousness. The higher the level, known as 'alert and oriented times four,' describes almost everyone in an everyday situation. They know who they are, where they are, what time it is, and what's just happened. If someone suffers a blow to the head, the first thing they lose is recent events--'alert times three'--and the last thing they lose is their identity. A person who has lost all levels of consciousness, right down to their identity, is said to be 'alert and oriented times zero.' When John Spillane wakes up in the water, he is alert and oriented times zero. His understanding of the world is reduced to the fact that he exists, nothing more. Almost simultaneously, he understands that he is in excruciating pain. For a long time, that is all he knows.

John Spillane is a para-rescue jumper sent into the North Atlantic, into the worst storm of the twentieth century, the perfect storm, as the book and film called it, to rescue a fisherman lost at sea. When his helicopter goes down, he is forced to jump into pitch blackness from an unknown height, and when he hits the water, he's going so dfast it's like hitting the pavement from eighty feet above. He is dazed and confused--just as we are when it comes to the story of our lies. It's the perfect analogy. We have no idea who we really are, why we're here, what's supposed to happen to us, or why. Honestly, most days we are alert and oriented times zero."

So, what do you think? Does that ever describe how you feel about your life? What's your level of consciousness right now.

I'm at 'Alert and Oriented times four' right now, but not all days are like that.

Sometimes life smacks us around pretty good. I get to spend time with a lot of people and hear their stories and frankly for some of them I wonder how they can be oriented at all. Life has hit them pretty hard and it leaves me wondering 'why...?' Sitting with a divorced single mother last week I had no answers as to why life is going down the way it is. Talking with a friend today about a long job hunt and again, no answers. At least no answers that fit in the context of 'right here, right now.'

The only way that some things make sense is when we imagine the answer from a future post. Some things will make sense when we look back.

Problems are to our spirits what weight lifting is to our muscles. Sometimes problems make us sore, but never doubt that God is at work to build new 'muscle' in our spirits. Never doubt that He is inviting us to a deeper relationship with Him. Never doubt that in the 'big picture' it will all make sense, although along the way there will be times when we may be 'alert and oriented times zero.'

Let me know how you feel about what I've just written.

Alert and oriented times four,

p.s. If you are a 'rising leader' who's excited about adva
ncing the Kingdom of God, then you'll want to grab some great FREE resources over at www.risingleaderalliance.com


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