The Wake-up Call: What My Dental Appointment Taught Me About Faith

A few months ago, I booked a dentist appointment for myself. I hadn’t done so in two years, but I once again had healthcare coverage (through the university). I brush my teeth regularly, so I wasn’t too worried about this checkup. I’d just pop in and out of the office, get a quick cleaning, and be good for another year.

Then the dentist looked at my x-rays and said, “Good, good… oh, not so good… two cavities here.”

WHAT?  Cavities?  I’ve never had cavities before!!!

The Wake-up Call: What My Dental Appointment Taught Me About Faith (woman in a dental chair with dental tools in her mouth)

The next thing I knew, I was standing at the receptionist’s desk, booking a second appointment to finish my cleaning and an appointment to get my cavities filled.  So much for my smug my-teeth-are-good attitude.

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A Faith Check-up

As I brushed my teeth that night, I thought back on the last year and realized that yep, my dental habits had slipped up a bit. That “routine checkup” turned out to be a good wake-up call for me. I’ve started some new habits now. After all, a bit of floss and toothpaste are cheaper than dentist visits.

Taking better care of my oral hygiene got me thinking about some other areas where I’ve slipped up a bit.  The start of Lent was like my dentist appointment: a wake-up call that something wasn’t the way it should be in my spiritual life.

Unfortunately, it’s been easier to start flossing than it has been to start a regular devotional time.  If I try to spend time in prayer and Bible reading during the day, I find myself distracted by two little girls.  If I leave it until they are in bed, I find myself too tired—or distracted by my husband, who also wants some attention.

Starting New Faith Habits

Yet even the desire to do something has made a difference.  I find myself praying more during the day, sharing my struggles and wishes with God as they come to mind.  I think about what I read last, in either my Bible or in The Sacred Romance, a book I chose as a focus for my devotional readings right now.  It’s baby steps, but it’s baby steps in the right direction.

Do you need a spiritual wake-up call? Here’s some tips:

Need some recommendations for spiritual reading? Try these:

Have you faced a wake-up call, in your spiritual or daily life? How did you deal with it?

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