Yesterday morning I had several cavities filled. I hadn't been to the dentist in a few years, which I am definitely kind of embarrassed by. I could make a lot of excuses as to why I didn't go, but when it comes down to it, it's simple - I just didn't make it a priority. I finally went for a cleaning on Monday, and not to my surprise, I have cavities.
But back to yesterday - while I was laying in the chair with a numb face and nine different attachments shoved into my mouth, I realized the error of my foolishness. The suffering I was enduring in the chair, as they told me to open my small mouth "wider! wider!", while shoving a freaking drill into my mouth, WAS NOT WORTH IT!
As God as my witness I will never miss a dentist appointment again. I will floss and use mouth wash every night. I will do all that I can to prevent future cavities from forming. Side note, my dentist didn't ask if I drank lots of coffee, so I'm taking that as a good sign that I can keep drinking it! Praise the Lord!
Getting a cavity filled is such a good metaphor for our lives. How often do we go through life ignoring something that needs to be addressed in our life because we don't like, it makes us uncomfortable or it's not exciting? In my short thirty years on earth so far, I have never learned the lesson that "avoiding a problem usually makes it better".
But we do it in all areas of our lives. We ignore our physical health and often end up with diabetes just because we are overweight. We ignore our spiritual health and feel alone in the wilderness, instead of attached to an all powerful and loving God. We ignore the health of our relationships and end up in a distant, bitter, underwhelming, emotional draining relationship - be it marriage, dating or friendship.
We let cavities destroy areas of our lives until it's too late, or almost too late. When it's too late and we actually lose a tooth, or relationship, or area of our heart, we feel broken, incomplete and usually really embarrassed. If you have ever lost something in your life because of your own foolishness, then you know exactly what I mean. It's the worst feeling. I remember feeling that way over and over again in high school and college when I was giving into temptations that I knew were wrong. I was losing a part of my heart and it was awful. I've also lost friends and relationships because of my own foolishness and it's horrible. Some of us may try to blame the system, the other person or circumstance, but when decay eats away at us, it's normally our fault and ours alone.
When there is still a chance to salvage and repair the decay, it is usually really painful. It's sitting in a dentist chair while a drill grinds away your teeth, hard conversations with loved ones, or starting to diet and eat healthy. All of which are hard things to do, but THEY ARE ALWAYS WORTH IT! I have never met anyone who was upset that they worked through a problem or got healthy. Never! I have also never met anyone who is mad that they still have all their teeth.
I am so glad they rooted out the decay in my teeth and filled my cavities yesterday. If not, the decay would have spread and spread and I would have eventually lost some teeth.
Don't let decay spread in your body and heart. Root it out and take care of it. Have that hard conversation with your loved one, start that healthier lifestyle, pursue holiness. Do it and do it now. Today! Don't wait and end up living part of your life with decay eating away at your heart. It's not worth it!
When the doctor came in after my initial cleaning to tell me I had cavities he told me, "We can fix the cavities, but your teeth will not be as strong. Your mouth will always be stronger with what is originally there."
I almost started crying because I started to think about the way we were created. We, humans, were created to walk the gardens naked and unafraid with our creator. When sin enters our hearts, decay happens, and it'll never be as strong as what was originally there, EXCEPT FOR THE FACT THAT GOD LOVES US SO MUCH HE SENT JESUS.
Unlike my teeth, my heart has the opportunity to be restored to its original purpose, to have a naked and unafraid relationship with my loving Creator. Jesus is the only thing that will fill those cavities in our lives back to their original strength. He is the only one that can take the decay called sin, which has burrowed it's way into our hearts, and make it stronger, back to it's original creation.
I want to be more aware of the decay in my life so I can root it out and cover it with the love of my Savior. I don't want to live with it. I want to live how I was created to, not with decay, but with and in the loving arms of my Creator, naked and unafraid.