My brother Mike is a great dentist. In fact, because of him, I've lost all my fear of going to the dentist. It's comforting when you know the dentist really cares about you and will only do what is in your best interests.
But I never expected my annual dental visit to transform my prayer life with God (or give wise perspective to a host of situations). Until, it did.
I was reclining in Mike's dental chair as he probed my teeth, gums, and dental habits. "Hey Danny, how often do you floss your teeth?" Wanting to protect my periodontal reputation, I replied "Oh, about 2-3 times per week." I suspect Mike's well-trained eyes could detect my fib.
Then, waxing wise, Mike flossed my perspective:
"Danny, if you forget to floss your teeth someday, don't worry about it. Just floss today. And if a few days go by and you forget to floss, don't beat yourself up -- just floss today. And if a week goes by, you'll be ok. But, just floss today. And even if a long time passes and you've been remiss in flossing, don't get down on yourself. Just floss today."
#Boom. Utter Genius. The synapses in my brain were exploding. Why?
Because as I sat in Mike's dental chair, God (DDS) was examining my spiritual teeth:
"Dan, if a day goes by and you forget to meet with Me, don't despair. Just pray today. And if a few days go by and you forget to pray, don't beat yourself up -- just pray today. And if a week goes by, you'll be ok. But, pray today. And even if a long time passes and you've missed our time together in prayer, don't get down on yourself. Just pray today. I want to spend time with you."
I've never forgotten my brother Mike's words, nor God's reinterpretation of them. And to think my dental insurance covered 100% of that spiritual periodontal exam.
Floss for Your Soul
The apostle Paul put it this way, in non-dental lingo:
"Forgetting what lies behind (days of missed flossing and praying) and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 3:13-14
Get it? Our failed past is not determinative of our future. We can always get back up on our horse. We can always begin to floss – today! And pray. And connect with God by reading His Word.
Here's to our dental -- and spiritual -- health!