I just read my Thanksgiving article from four years ago. It had similar information from my most recent articles and it caused me to pause and think about what I would offer this week. While my stuff may not seem to be loaded with thought provoking words or ideas, I do put in some serious time contemplating my words.

Sunday we had our Miles Ministerial Alliance community Thanksgiving service. Proudly I say, while the numbers represented were rather small, the quality of the service was superior. Granted, I am biased. The service was short, relevant, and there were homemade refreshments afterwards. That is a win-win deal for everyone. Thanks to the participants and attendees. Remember you are the Hands of Christ. Make a person’s Thanksgiving special this year by your actions.

Today, Red and Cody influenced (threatened me) to go to the clinic. Here are some observations about my clinic visit I endured today. First, there is always someone much sicker than you and they make you feel guilty for being there. Yeah, that happened on more than one level to me. Second, why is your actual time with the doctor the shortest of all those in the entire clinic? My visit was "what seems to be the problem? Any other issues other than the information you gave the nurse?” (He had the entire one page questionnaire on his computer screen). He did the physical exam of checking my ears, nasal cavities, pressing lymph nodes around my throat, and lastly he put a “two by four” down my throat to check for infection. I went in with a cough, sore throat and pain in my chest. When the doc’s forehead wrinkles up when he says cough, and he readjusts his stethoscope and asks you to do it again, I get concerned. His final comments are, “Yeah, there is some congestion in your chest and your throat is red from the coughing, and some drainage. I will send in a script for an antibiotic and by the way, I am going to give you a steroid today. Do you want a script for this or do you want an injection?” Flashback! Shot? NO Way. Then I remembered I am an adult, so suck it up and be a man. I asked which one would work faster. Duh, I knew the answer to that one, I just wanted to feel like I was still a kid and might talk my way out of the shot.

When the nurse came in with the giant needle and syringe I noticed one thing; She was wearing a mask. The doctor didn't wear a mask. Why is the nurse wearing a mask? Am I that sick. Do I need to be wearing a mask? Have I contaminated Red and Cody and all of Miles, AMERICA? That dilemma was resolved when the mask- wearing nurse said, “I need to put this into your hip.” Reality hit me on many levels.

It was over "and just a small stick," from a nurse is different to us regular folks. Anyone else ever experience this moment of ”fight or flight"? Red and I left and felt compassion for the many folks in the waiting room. Now I do feel better. The meds are working and I am getting ready for the Thanksgiving feast that awaits the family this week.                                                                    

I wish you all a safe and reflective Thanksgiving. Remember the promise you made to yourself last year? I am not going to eat as much as I did last year. Yeah, well we know that ain't gonna happen. Good dining and I hope your team wins. Be Well, Gary K.

Gary Karschner is the pastor at First United Methodist Church in Miles and a frequent contributor to the newspaper.