I’ve always had a strong dislike for any kind of dentistry, possibly a result of orthodontic work I’ve had done in my teen years. It’s made me the type of person that avoids regular check-ups until it’s far too late – and by too late I mean a sensitive tooth can turn into a developed cavity before I even notice.
The festering sensitivity of a tooth left me wondering about the parallels with our spiritual lives. Is it possible that we can allow our sensitive areas to be stoked by bitterness or pride, creating a cavity in our spirit that’s terrifying to deal with?
It started with an ice-cream…
It all started with an ice-cream, the perfect summer treat. I’d decided there’s no better time than the festive season to let myself indulge in a few (an excess of) sweet treats. Along the way I’d likely deluded myself into believing that this would be “the last sweet”, and that I’d “be healthier tomorrow”.
“Sluggards do not plow in season; so at harvest time they look but find nothing.” (Proverbs chapter 20, verse 4).
We tend to wear ourselves down and slump into laziness and complacency when the season seems right. Whether that means we slack in our health or financial management, or that we let our spiritual guard down, laziness tends to sneak up on us.
No one ever intends on spiritually drifting, failing to sow seed, or getting comfortable with our vulnerabilities. Often times we only realise we’ve gone too far when we’ve already developed a painful cavity, realised we have no harvest because we never planted seed, or woken up feeling spiritually numb.
…and now it’s a cavity
What started as a slight sensitivity has turned into an unavoidable ache. Similarly, waking up realising you’ve developed a bad habit or lost sight of the endgame can be painfully jarring. It’s a beautiful thing to consider that, even when we recognise that we’ve fallen into laziness or allowed a sweet tooth to fester, there is still hope for redemption.
“Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest.” (Proverbs chapter 6, verses 8-8)
When we do wake from our slumber, we can still learn and gain wisdom. Our Creator has instilled wisdom into the very creation around us. When we feel the cavity, help is merely an invitation away. A cavity check may mean we’vecompromised a season, but our entire life can still be redeemed.
Pick up the phone!
Even as I type this, I’m aware that I’ve been avoiding calling the dentist. Knowing you have a compromised tooth and choosing to do something about it are very differentconcepts. See where I’m going with this? We can know we need a spiritual check, but that doesn’t mean we should avoid coming back in prayer.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew chapter 11, verse 28)
Our spiritual lives cannot be restarted without us going to our Creator. He isn’t looking to punish us when we ask for forgiveness but wants to reconnect us when we seek Him out. The first step is to call. We cannot get our cavities checked, our spiritual decay corrected or our hearts kickstarted without first making the ever-important call.
Maybe it’s time for a cavity check in our own lives, maybe we’ve inflicted a wilderness on ourselves, and we need to reconnect with our Maker. It all starts with a call.
Hailing from South Africa, Crystelda is an avid nerd and an unapologetic dreamer. With a BSc. Biological Sciences and BCom Hons in marketing, she has launched the Christian lifestyle blog - Selah Blogger and is the joint winner of the 2019 International Theology Award. The blog can be found at https://selahblogger.wordpress.com/ and her previous articles may be viewed at https://www.pressserviceinternational.org/crystelda-naidoo.html