by Adam Kronberger / Superintendent
About a month ago I began to prepare myself for an upcoming dentist appointment. I decided that I should start flossing every night, but my motivation was not actually to maintain clean teeth. Rather, I was hoping to prevent the sudden flow of blood from my gums the moment the dental hygienist touched them with floss after another 6-month hiatus. Perhaps it's a guy thing, but I don’t like the idea of someone else being able to make me bleed so easily.
The first week of flossing was painful and annoying. But by the second week I found my rhythm and was even enjoying the process, looking forward to my nightly appointment with my floss. But by the third week, my flossing had uncovered a pain in the back of my mouth that I could only presume was a cavity. Throwing my hands up in the air, I instantly became depressed and stopped flossing altogether, feeling there was nothing I could do.
When our appointment arrived, my two children and then my wife both completed their cleanings with rave reviews from the dentist. It was now my turn to face the music. I sheepishly approached the chair and quickly confessed my concern about a giant cavity in my mouth. New x-rays were taken, and the dentist was prematurely summoned to examine my mouth. I was soon asked about my personal hygiene and described my recent introduction of flossing into my regimen. Fortunately, it was determined that there was no cavity in my mouth, but simply a cut gum from my new flossing habit.
I think that sometimes I view my quiet time with God like flossing. I know how important it is to my walk with Him, but oftentimes I need external motivation to get me going. Once I begin to spend time with God on a regular basis, I often find my stride and enjoy the habit. But as I begin to seek after His own heart, it oftentimes reveals things in me I may not be proud of. Guilt and shame can quickly overwhelm me, and I can easily throw my hands up in the air in discouragement and give up.
It is helpful to be reminded that Jesus didn’t come to save the healthy, but to save the sick. God expects us to attend church not when we become good enough, but because we never will be good enough without His grace. We raise our hands in worship not because we are spiritual, but because we are unspiritual and the action oftentimes jumpstarts our hearts. God’s healing and direction is readily available as we allow Him access to our lives through daily time with HIm.
I asked my dentist if I was now exempt from flossing due to my gum “injury”. Unfortunately, a couple of days off and I am ordered back into my flossing program. I am grateful for his instructions, just as I am grateful for those people in my life who model and motivate me to spend time with God daily. There is no injury that can keep me from my morning cleansing in His presence.
– Adam Kronberger / Superintendent