Keeping well goes beyond yourself

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Rev. Walter Klockers

Friday, Sept. 22 was the first day of fall. There is a lot I like about this time of year — football, cool crisp air, and the turning of leaves into brilliant colors.

However, there are some things I dread about the change from summer to fall.

For one, why is it that so many people get sick about this time every year? Could someone please explain this to me? Why does it happen?

Right now, I know a number of people who have had a 24-hour bug or bronchitis. These seem to hit our community with no warning signs.

This prompted me to do some research. To my surprise, I discovered that certain viruses thrive when the weather turns cooler and the air is drier. I had no idea. Quite honestly, I thought the opposite would be true.

In any event, once again, it is time to prepare for the onslaught of nauseous, feverish, coughing people around me. Fortunately, I have a list of things I do as preventive measures to try and keep illnesses at bay.

The most important item is washing my hands or using hand sanitizer after I go out in public. Then there is taking extra measures to assure that I eat right and get adequate sleep. A few years ago, I added to this list wearing long underwear and extra warm socks on colder days. I also believe in taking a daily dose of home-made elderberry syrup and saline rinse for my sinuses. We have home humidifiers. Finally, I get an annual flu shot.

In the New Living Translation, 3 John 1:2 says this: “Dear friend, I hope all is well with you and that you are as healthy in body as you are strong in spirit.”

While it is true that body, mind, and spirit may be viewed separately, I believe that it is best to see them holistically, as interdependent.

To care for the physical self also strengthens the spirit; when all is well with our soul, we are more able to do God’s work for those around us who may be in need.

So, why not get your flu shot and purchase extra pairs of warm socks?

You may thank yourself, and others may benefit as well.

Walter is pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church and has served as parish pastor for more than 25 years.

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