I have really good teeth.
It was always my dad's thing. I've never had a cavity, don't need my wisdom teeth taken out, I like my big toothy smile. I went to the dentist in the spring, and the dental hygienist told me I had a big mouth and we both tilted our heads back and laughed when I told her well, I've heard that before. Hahaha jokes with the dentist.
Also, I like to talk about my teeth, which maybe makes me a weird person.
Then I went back to the dentist in October, all hopped up and ready to kill it. The dental hygienist looked at my mouth and proceeded to tell me that my gums are receding, I'm brushing my teeth too hard. She told me to cool it on the forceful tooth brushing or else I could need a gum graft (wait. what).
THIS IS THE MOMENT I LEARNED THAT YOU CAN'T WIN AT EVERYTHING.
Maybe this is just a weird post about my recent dentist disappointments, or maybe this is about something bigger. I've thought about it a lot since, and not because I particularly care about my gums (who needs their gums anyway?), but because it was a little bit shocking. This is something I am good at!! But maybe it's a picture of something more. I do the best I can, but maybe sometimes our best just isn't enough. And I don't mean that in a weird, pessimistic way, but in a there MUST be dependency kind of way.
Dependency on something Greater.
And maybe there just are some things that can't and shouldn't be done alone or by our own efforts. And the most we do, the most we give, comes to full completion when we allow God to work in and through us. I can take something and run with it, and too often I don't have a full awareness of the presence of God with me. Or any awareness at all. But He is with me, of that I am certain.
It's the thing I cling to in this season. God is with me, before and behind, and sweet freedom lies in the deep exhale that I am not built to do this alone. And when I feel like I'm parasailing or attached to a string like a yo-yo and I am being yanked up and down again and I am feeling a little off balance, I know God is for me. And none of this is really up to me (THANK GOD LITERALLY). There is a deep, sweet intimacy, leading, and guidance from the Lord that I just cannot fail to rely fully on (especially as a pastor).
THIS IS A TRUE STORY now I brush my teeth with more thoughtfulness, precision, intentionality, and grace. I am s l o w i n g down, at least in that one area of my life.
Life is wonderful and full. Let's seize it.