Getting Ahead: ‘How Bad Is It?’


The most frightening things I remember in my childhood were a shot from the doctor, a filling from the dentist, and a paddling from my parents. If I knew that I was scheduled for a doctor’s visit, I would start to pray that he would give me pills instead of the needle.

When I went to the dentist, or was told that I was going to get a paddling, I knew there was no use in praying because there were no options. I would then just try to beg my way out of the inevitable. Our dentist gave you the choice of a shot to numb your tooth, or just sit there and take it. Either way it was a losing situation as far as I was concerned. I usually just sat there in agony while he drilled and filled my tooth.

At that point my dad would tell me; “If you sit still and don’t cry I will get you an ice cream cone on the way home.” I remember the strength I would gain at the possibility of having an ice cream cone. I would be able to bear up under the pain of the drill by keeping my mind on the prize to be won. Dad did, however, overlook a few tears if I would sit relatively still in the chair.

The shot from the doctor, the filling from the dentist, and the paddling from my parents, all made my life better. When I was going through these experiences they seemed to be the end of the world for me. I could not see the benefit that was to come from going through the pain of the moment.

Even though I was only aware of the fear and pain, the truth still remained. My parents knew the truth of the coming benefits to my life so they were able to do the right thing to bring that about.

We are going to go through times of fear and pain. I realize that it is hard to see beyond the moment, but is there a possibility that it is going to make you better in the future? Wouldn’t it be great to have a father that would have a reward for us that could give us hope throughout troubled and painful experiences?

These and other life questions will be addressed Sunday morning as “The Gathering Place Family” meets in the Washington High School Gymnasium at 10 a.m. for our Pre-Service Connection where we enjoy coffee, juice and donuts. Our Worship Service and Children’s Church then begins at 10:30. Come at 7 p.m. and be part of our Wednesday night Bible Study and Children’s Ministry on the third floor above Trends at 120 West Court Street.

By John G. Pfeifer

Religion Columnist

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