One night I was getting ready to go bed, and decided it was time to bleach my teeth again, because it had been a few months. Gotta keep those pearly whites from looking more like mother of pearl you know! I grabbed my trays, filled them full of bleach, put the bottom tray in, and then the top. Much to my dismay, the trays didn’t fit! I mean, they were off by 1/4 an inch! I was totally freaking out! I stood in front of the mirror and examined my teeth in horror. Indeed it appeared my teeth had shifted. At this rate what would I look like in a few more months?! Would my mouth be completely disfigured?!
The next morning I promptly called my dentist’s office in a panic. I explained my situation to them, and assured them it was a dire emergency. They said to come in and Dr. Bettis would take a look. Thank God! This couldn’t wait long! Time was of the essence! It appeared my teeth were shifting faster than I could say the word dentures!! Something had to be done! I drove as fast as I could, wondering if I should turn in my flashers! There’s no way I afford a ticket right now! God only knew how much I was about to have to fork out to fix my mouth! Finally! I arrived at the office ticket free!
Fortunately I was taken back rather quickly. I was lying back in the chair dreading the thought of having to get braces at my age. Or could it be something worse?! Was I even going to have any teeth left in my mouth to put braces on, or would they all just fall out?! What on earth had made my teeth move so much, in such a short time? I cursed getting older, because I just knew it had something to do with being over forty. Dr. Bettis came in and placed the trays in my mouth so he could see just how much my teeth had shifted. I was sure he’d be just as shocked as I had been! When I took the trays out of my mouth he took them, and checked them out, then carefully look over my teeth. The confused look on his face caused my anxiety level to rise. “Obviously I have some extremely rare, and dreaded gum disease!” I thought to myself. He politely excused himself. Where was he going?! Was he having to consult some sort of specialist?!
He came back in with some x-rays, and placed them on the screen. “Let me show you something.” He said gently, as he patted my arm. It’s never a good sign when a doctor pats your arm! Do you see that tooth right here?” He asked. I simply nodded. “Do you see how that one tooth sticks out ever so slightly?” Nervously I answered yes. He then handed me a mirror and asked me to look at my teeth. I took the mirror with trembling hands. I studied my teeth hard, bracing myself for the bad news. He said, “Notice the difference in your bottom teeth compared to the X-ray?” He asked. I sure did! Ray Charles could’ve noticed the difference! Oh my gosh! My teeth HAD moved! I knew it! That tooth used to stick out, now it doesn’t!
Dr. Bettis, again, gently patted my arm. No doubt to soften the blow of the horrifying news he was about to deliver. My thoughts raced. I was thinking to myself, “This must be bad. Real bad.” I swallowed hard as Dr. Bettis began to speak. “I think I know what the problem is.” He said, ever so straight faced. I must’ve looked like a deer caught in the headlights because I couldn’t speak. I just nervously stared at him. “The X-rays you’re looking at belong to your husband. Those are Steve’s x-rays. And the tooth trays you’re trying to use are also Steve’s. Your teeth have not moved.”
I was elated and extremely mortified all at the same times! I don’t think my face could’ve been any redder. I must’ve looked crazy as a loon! And how Dr. Bettis managed to get out of there without busting a gut, I’ll never know! He must’ve been prayed up is all I can say! I’ll bet when I left, the entire office had a nice little chuckle at my expense! As I think back on this I still get a little embarrassed, but so far, when I’ve went back, no one has treated me as if I were some kind of crazy nut job. Maybe they’ve seen worse?
Lots of times the way we live our lives, closely resembles me trying to wear Steve’s tooth trays. We make plans, without consulting God, then try our best to make God’s divine plan fit around our own ideas. Instead of asking God what His plans are for us, we fill our lives full of stuff and then try to wear Him so that we look pearly white. You know what happens when we do that? When our lives start shifting, we get freaked out, panic, and then call on God to fix things! Here’s the deal though. Just like my dentist didn’t treat me as if I were crazy when I came in that day, God never, ever treats me like a crazed lunatic when I mess up and come whining to Him! He always welcomes me with open arms, and breaks it to me gently that His ways are not my ways, and His thoughts are definitely not my thoughts. He reminds me that I really should get on track with Him, and that I should worry less about polishing up the outside, just to look good, and worry more about what’s inside. There is one big difference though, God never charges me a fifty dollar co-pay! And I’d like to thank the Lord for that, because I mess up a lot!
We plan the way we want to live, but only God makes us able to live it. Proverbs 16:9