Today I'm getting my teeth cleaned.
I do it about three times a year.
I am not a fan of the dentist.
I apologize to any of you out there who are in the field of dental health. You do a good work. I'd just rather that you did it on someone else besides me.
My fear of the dentist started with my first visit when I was about 6 years old. Evidently, I had a cavity for each one of those years. Yup, I had six, count 'em, six cavities.
Let me do a little dental math for you –
6 cavities = 6 fillings
6 fillings = Multiple shots of novacaine
Multiple shots of novacaine + a needlephobe = Sharon faints
So, my fear is really just a matter of math, you see.
How about the time when I was getting braces at age 14 – and still had 10 baby teeth just hanging in there?
The dentist said they were all "loose" – and "we can pop them out easily." Which he then proceeded to do, sans novacaine this time. OK, new math lesson –
Pulling teeth + no novacaine = Sharon faints
Do you want the horror story of having my impacted wisdom teeth removed? No, I didn't think so. Suffice it to say that I had to stay for an hour after they were done until my blood pressure returned to normal – it was like 90/50 – *borderline shock* they said.
Well, yeah – you'd go into shock too if people were digging into your skull like miners searching for a vein of gold. I'm not kidding – I'm pretty sure they wiggled around in my brain. (I think perhaps that's when I lost a little bit of my memory – the part that remembers where you lay down your glasses…just sayin')
Here's the irony of it all.
I have pretty good teeth.
Ask the kind elderly gentleman at the assisted living facility I visit every Friday. His name is Jack. And every week when I greet him, he tells me I have beautiful teeth. Then he asks me to smile, to open my mouth so he can peer at my molars, to bite down so he can check how my teeth mesh. I feel like a horse at an auction.
So, my checkups are accomplishing their purpose.
Maintenance is keeping my teeth strong.
Often as I'm sitting in the hygienist's chair, while Nurse Ratched (One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest) scrapes and scours my pearly whites, my mind wanders. And the Lord often speaks to me in my wandering…
Isn't my spiritual life much like going to the dentist?
Hang with me on this one.
Sometimes it can be painful. We can get pockets of decay that have to be taken care of. They have to be removed and filled with something else. Sometimes the only solution is to uproot the sin, and completely extract it. And, once in a while, that sin gets impacted, and surgery is required. Painful surgery that can be a little (or a lot) shocking.
Maintenance is crucial.
Regular check-ups are necessary.
Am I in the Word of God each day? Am I attending church faithfully? Am I praying? Am I keeping a clear conscience? Am I yielding my will to the Lord? Am I loving Him with all my heart, my soul, my mind, and my strength?
The end result is worth it.
A beautiful faith that reflects the image of Jesus, and bears good fruit.
A faith that is strong.
So, as I'm sitting in the chair today, I'm going to think about these things. I'm going to take a little spiritual inventory. Where am I at, Lord? Am I where you want me to be – inside and out? Speak to me…
I just know that He will.
(And let me tell you, He's much better to listen to than that corny piped-in Muzak! The 80's live on…)
How are you doing on your spiritual maintenance? Is it time for a check-up?
(I am linked today with Joan at the Grace Cafe. Won't you join us??)
BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"