About Amy Umble:
Amy Umble is health reporter for The Free Lance-Star

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Please, Lord, don’t let me mess up

In Craig Nelson’s book “Rocket Men,” the story of the first men on the moon, he talks about the prayer said before every NASA mission. The prayer was “unacknowledged,” Nelson writes, but shared by both astronaut crews and ground control engineers.

It was: “Dear Lord, please don’t let me screw up.”

In describing it, astronaut Michael Collins said, “We were our nation’s envoys, we three, and it would be a national disgrace if we screwed it up. I don’t know about Neil and Buzz, because we never discussed these things, but I really felt the pressure, this awesome responsibility weighing me down.”

I appreciated the prayer and the pressure felt by Collins, because it is similar to how I feel on Tuesday nights before squad duty. I certainly don’t have the responsibility that Collins did, but I do feel the pressure he described, “the awesome responsibility,” and the desire not to make a mistake. Each night before I climb in the ambulance, I ask that no patients or crew members are harmed by my actions.

“Please Lord,” I ask, “watch over us in this time of need.”