So I'm going to the dentist (again) today and I realizing something about myself. I think that going to the dentist some how brings me closer to God. You see I am not a big fan of going to the dentist - although I am learning that being in the dental profession does not make some one a bad person (my recently experiences have been very positive). Going the the dentist makes me nervous. I am never sure what to expect. I feel exposed. I feel insecure. My efforts to cut corners are seen for what they are. There is nowhere to hide and I feel a lack of power. And so I find myself praying, meditating on God's goodness and quoting scripture to myself as I walk into the office and sit in the chair. It always strikes me as funny that I do this, but also always calms me.
I know that I might just be a big wimp, but I am realizing just how much we need experiences like this. Experiences where we suddenly realize our lack of power and that our best efforts have failed. Experiences where we don't have the means to get out of a jam or where those times when we have been faking it have been exposed. This is life. But these are also experiences that can cause us to realize that we need God - that without him we are lost, that we need to experience his presence and power to somehow survive.
For many of us there was a big crisis moment in our lives where we realized that we were in trouble, admitted defeat and threw ourselves to Jesus to rescue us. We may describe this as the time when we decided to follow Jesus. But the reality is that we don't just face one crisis moment and then the rest of life is hunky-dory. Rather the reality of life is that it is filled with moments where we need to realize that it is only through the power of God's Spirit within us that we will survive and find hope. For me, today, this is a trip to the dentist (admittedly small in the grand scheme of things...but it is what it is).