By Dr. Jim Ferguson

I always wonder where my essay of the week will come from. When I had a traditional medical practice, patients frequently prompted a storyline. I see fewer patients now and practice concierge medicine with house calls from my truck. These days my essays are often stimulated by medical journals and, unfortunately, the news.

I keep telling myself it’s time to move on from politics, but not a week goes by without a new crisis in Obama’s government. And make no mistake, it is his government. In medicine we have a “captain of the ship” philosophy. If someone in my former office did something wrong or hurtful to a patient, it was my responsibility. I have apologized for things done on my watch and without my knowledge. Our President seemingly takes responsibility for nothing.

The latest brouhaha, yet to be covered by the “alphabet media” (ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS), concerns Jonathon Gruber, the principle architect of Obama-care. If you haven’t watched Gruber’s videos you should; Google them and decide for yourself whether the President and his appointees should be trusted. On at least three occasions Mr. Gruber said it was necessary to lie to the American people and the CBO (Congressional Budget Office) to get Obama-care passed. He said lying was necessary because the American people were too stupid to understand tax credits or what was good for them. He said, “Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage.”

How does someone like Gruber or Lois Learner at the IRS rise to prominence in Obama’s Administration? This occurs because they are apparatchiks (word of the week; look it up!). Mr. Obama’s fawning appointees allow the President to appear above the fray and perpetually fundraise, remaining confident that his acolytes will carry out his liberal-progressive-Democrat policies. He can project the façade of a crusader for Americans. He is not. “Don’t doubt me.”

I often wonder if my muse will leave me. Will memories of my patients fade or someday all be told? Will my fascination with medicine end? Will I be silenced and my thoughts again only be mine? Some snicker at the notion of limiting free speech in America. They shouldn’t. It is euphemistically called Net Neutrality and it is anything but its namesake. Obama has already added this to his agenda for 2015, along with the festering problem of amnesty and the man-made global warming charade now renamed climate change since there has been no global warming for the last sixteen years.

A man named Epictetus once said that the only true freedom is your thoughts. Tyrannies have repeatedly sought to take thoughts from citizens by lying and manipulation. America must understand what we are up against, and say “No!” to this newest assault on our already bloodied Constitution. Stewardship is an important aspect in my life. I have been blessed, therefore much is expected of me. Therefore, I will speak out as long as I’m able, and if I go away without a good by, you’ll know what happened, and expect them to come for you next.

Recently, I’ve wondered how many thoughts a person can have in a lifetime. You may find this a strange question, but a writer wonders if someday all his stories will be told. We’ve all seen writers that are less productive of good work over time. Should I branch out and explore new genres? John Gresham tried changing his literary palate, but returned to his successful books about lawyers. Perhaps I should resume work on the second book in my science fiction trilogy. At the suggestion of many, I am compiling ninety of my Focus essays into a book that I had planned to have available for Christmas 2014. However, life sometimes gets in the way of the best laid plans. It will happen soon; I’ll keep you posted. My essays will make good “bathroom” reading!

I believe in daily spiritual journaling. This type of writing is conversation with God, and sometimes produces startling insights previously unknown to me. Journaling is also a type of stewardship and the discipline helps me to organize random thoughts. I’ve recommended that struggling patients organize their thoughts and feelings on paper. I’ve found the process cathartic. I have a drawer that contains thirteen years of spiritual musings, though I have never gone back and read these conversations with God. Maybe I will someday.

Perhaps there’s no limit to the thoughts of a lifetime. I was at my brother’s new property on the Clinch River recently for a bonfire and tall tales. Since his place is far from the city you can see a lot of stars there. Experts say that under optimal conditions you can see three thousand stars in the night sky, and ten thousand with a small telescope. There are four hundred billion stars in our Milky Way galaxy and there are more than one hundred billion galaxies in the known universe. If you do the math you come up with 1022 power stars in the universe. They say there are more stars than grains of sand on all the beaches of the world.

I’ve written a lot of words in The Focus over the last six and a half years and even more in my journals. What if my thoughts are numbered like stars in the Milky Way galaxy, and all the people of the world are like other galaxies with their own thoughts, all parsed by the Maker? I believe everything exists within the Creation and mind of God, whose super repository of thought and prayers is limitless.

This time of year when it’s cold and snowy, I often recall one of my favorite poems written by Robert Frost. It’s called “Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening”. The poem recounts the reflections of a traveler homeward bound. The poet concludes, “The woods are lovely dark and deep,” just like the night sky is for me. The traveler then returns to earth noting, “But I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep.” Hopefully, I have miles and years ahead of me before I sleep eternally. Opportunities of service and stewardship lie ahead. This grounds me in the now, and causes me hum, “It is well with my soul…”