Sunday, March 17, 2013

How Our Teeth Are Like our Lives | Part 3

About two years ago, I blogged about my tumultuous disaster of a dentist visit. I took it upon myself to make a metaphor out of the apparent infestation of corrosion that was living in my mouth. Though I've had a multitude of dentist experiences since, all of them bad as they were visits to the dentist, I still believe that visiting the dentist is quite like life.

We like to avoid it.

Today, I went to have a cavity filled. As I am no longer cavity free, I don't feel quite the shame in having yet another one. So, I went, begrudgingly but not quite so melodramatically as I have in prior visits. I went because now more than fearing a cavity, I fear the dreaded root canal.

I like this particular dentist. She doesn't find flaws in every little crevice. And she has yet to tell me that I need to invest in the $600 intensive gum cleaning procedure. Anyway, she filled a small spot then turned to another tooth that had a cavity. She began widdling away at my tooth. And widdling. And widdling. And widdling. (Is that how you spell widdling?) It seemed to take forever. She said nothing to me as she went. All the while, I wondered if something was wrong. I worried about the hedgehog. I grew concerned about what I would have for lunch that day. I thought about returning to work the next day. And then, like that, the cavity was filled and she was done. Everything was fine. I walked out of there, got a sandwich for lunch and returned home to a hedgehog still in his cage (and breathing).

While in that chair, I was powerless. The only choice I had was to wait. I sat and I waited for the cavity to be filled, for the spot to be fixed.

Our teeth are like our lives. Sometimes there is a spot. Even though it is a small spot, one that you can hardly notice, it is there. We ignore these spots. We floss that tooth extra special like we are doing it a favor. Then we proceed to have a lollypop. We remember that spot when it is convenient and ignore it when it doesn't fit in to our plans.

Where am I going with this? What exactly is my metaphor?

Our lives are like a set of teeth. Sometimes we care for them. Sometimes we abuse them. But most often we live them with spots, blemishes, and sin.

It is easy to say, sorry God, I'm not going to church today. I'm really in to this YA book about vampires. Or, I thought about giving tv up for lent to spend more time reading my Bible, but then I realized that I just really like all of my shows.

There is nothing wrong with these activities. And there is nothing wrong with eating a lollypop. But, it is important to not ignore that empty spot in our lives (in our mouths). We need to have them filled. We need to sit down in that chair, lean way back, and have no choice but to wait. No choice but to let God fill that empty spot. And just because it is small, doesn't mean it won't take time. And just because it becomes filled doesn't mean we can start ignoring it again.

We need to fill the spot because if we continue to ignore it, it will continue to grow. Until it is no longer a cavity, it is a root canal. Until it is no longer skipping church to read, but failing to believe in God at all.
We are sinners. We have spots that need to be fixed. But the beautiful part is that God is waiting for us to call and make the appointment to have it filled. He is waiting. And he will patiently fill our gaps. He might not say anything to us as He does. And perhaps we will begin to wonder if there is something wrong. But then he will lift us back up and tell us that we are filled again.

(All Sons & Daughters - Brokenness Aside)

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