BBC Radio 4 commissioned me to broadcast six prayers in their ‘Prayer for the Day’ slot again. They are being aired over the week of Diwali so most will reflect on themes associated with this festival.
I had to go to hospital recently to have an operation for – well, something to do with my bottom.
I had survived for thirteen years with this condition without anyone knowing and I thought I could have a simple operation without anyone guessing that I ever had such a malady.
Unfortunately the surgeons performed a more serious procedure and I ended up having three operations. So everyone found out and the jokes start piling in, so to speak. Did they get to the bottom of it? Can you put it behind you?
But the serious side was severe pain which even morphine was unable to fully alleviate. The situation was out of my control, and I realised that the only thing I could control was my response. In a mercifully timely reading of the Bhagavat Purana, a Hindu text, I found a verse which advised that the devotee of God sees everything as being a gift from God, whether it be pleasure or pain, happiness or distress, fame and infamy.
So, I could choose to respond like a devotee, even if I was having difficulty responding like a man. I realised, as I took my gaze from my own pain that others around me were suffering more. I became more thoughtful, more willing to be compassionate, less demanding of my needs and comforts, and so happy to find God in adversity, accepting suffering as a necessary and productive part of my life. My distress was now a gift.
I think I did get to the bottom of it and I will put it behind me.
Lord, Thank you for your gifts. Thank you for the pleasure – and the pain. I learn so much from both. Allow me to always accept your gifts with grace. Hare Krishna.