Monday, January 08, 2018

Guard Your Mouth



Yesterday didn't go as I planned but the reason goes back to Saturday night. The final thing I do before getting into bed every evening is to insert my mouth guard. Like many, I suffer (if that's the right word) with bruxism, or grinding my teeth while sleeping. Following dentist's orders, I pop mine in my mouth after brushing, WATER-PIKING, and mouth washing. That's where my routine stopped Saturday night. As I was fixing to crawl in bed, I discovered my guard was nowhere to be found. I spent fifteen-twenty minutes searching my apartment to no avail. I usually put it on the sink in the bathroom when I get up and then in its case when I shower but Saturday morning, I didn't. I remember leaving it on the dining room table and recall seeing it there but it had disappeared. There was one last possibility. I had taken a trash bag to the dumpster several hours before and maybe it had found its way into the garbaeg. It was going to be a dirty job but......

Sunday morning, I went down to the dumpster in our parking area. Fortunately, it had not been covered by other refuse so I took it upstairs but because it was Sunday, I put the chore off until after worship. That afternoon, I opened the bag in my kitchen, covering the floor with a bed sheet. Feeling like one of those guys sifting through evidence on CSI, I carefully took out every bit of garbage, covered in coffee grounds, and examined it. Nothing. I repeated the same process in reverse order- still nothing. I bagged it all up again and returned it to the dumpster, irritated but upbeat with one thought; if it wasn't in my trash, it had to be inside the walls where I lived.... or so I hoped.

I started searching all over again, even doing some cleaning in the process. Of course, I found it where I had already looked. It was up on a high shelf in the bedroom closet mixed in with this year's Christmas cards which had been sitting on that same dining room table. Actually, I'd felt around up there from the floor previously but it wasn't until I stood on a chair and used my eyes that it showed up. I was relieved and thanked the Lord. Several hours had been lost in the process but hopefully, I learned my lesson!

You know, if it had been a tooth brush or dental floss or a tube of Crest, I would have stopped looking after ten seconds and chalk it up to my carelessness. But not with this mouth guard which I estimate must be more than ten years old. It all comes down to value. The guard, made by the staff of a well respected Houston dentist, cost me north of $200. So, I would lose that investment and I would need to replace the one that was lost. Don't laugh but one site on the Internet says some dentist-made guards cost $800! The intensity of my search had a perfect correlation to the value of what I lost. What has little worth causes little heartache when it can't be found. The parables of Luke 15 illustrate the rejoicing when what is lost is discovered or comes home. The coin, the sheep, and the son had tremendous value, in increasing measure, to the woman, the shepherd, and the father. How much value does God assign to us? The best known verse gives the answer we all can quote by heart:
For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.
We slip and falter, we repent and relapse, but God paid the most precious price for every man/woman/children on the face of this earth. In Luke 15, the great chapter of the lost being found, Jesus said there is rejoicing in heaven when sinners repent. Did you get that?  We can cause the angels to celebrate! I'll forget my dumpster experience in a few days along with my temporary giddiness and relief. I can never forget that I, too, was once lost but now I'm found. Thank God for Jesus.

Applicable quote of the day:
“Be true to your teeth and they won’t be false to you.” 

 Soupy Sales

God bless,
Steve
Luke 18:1

www.hawleybooks.com
E-mail me at steve@hawleybooks.com

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