As I was lying in one of the dental chairs at my office – yeah, looking up at the ceiling from the perspective of a patient – I was contemplating the fact that as I get older, my body is starting to let me know in more painful ways that I am not immortal. Not that I ever thought I was, physically at least, but I have sort of taken the relatively normal, painless, functioning of my body for granted. So it is easy to let good health practices slide. I eat things that are too high in fat or too high in carbohydrates. And yes, sometimes, I forget to brush and floss. I eat sticky black licorice that pulls off a crown – and post – and part of the poor old tooth. And I end up in a supine position with my mouth open suffering the consequences of fear and neglect from long ago when I accumulated a lot of big fillings.
I was also thinking of other parts of me that I now take pains not to damage. Steve, our youth pastor, is beginning to know about these things too. Welcome to the world of the walking toboggan wounded! I had a tobogganing accident back in 1995, crushing a vertebra. So I gave up tobogganing. I also fell x-country skiing and injured my wrist so I gave that up for the most part. At that time I found out that life and disability insurance companies don’t much like you if you have these little incidents. And that was when I needed the insurance the most, just starting up my own business. So now I stick to snowshoeing.
But as I was in my contemplative mood – being forced to lie still with my mouth open for a couple of hours I also realized that I am a whole lot less concerned about my physical self now than I was a few years ago. I’m going to a place where there is perfect healing for this tired old body so in some ways I am less attached to it, less inclined to worry about it. (Don’t worry, I’m not being morbid or purposefully neglecting myself.) And, since I figure that everyone’s teeth should be great up there in heaven, I am looking forward to long times of just sitting in His presence, worshipping and sort of soaking up the Son.