Would you rather have a root canal or have a wisdom tooth pulled? I am so “lucky” that on Monday I don’t have to make that choice. I get both. Cue the violins with their woe-is-me music!
In a moment of full disclosure, please know I am not a fan of the dentist. This fact has absolutely nothing to do with my current dentist and has absolutely everything to do the pain machine, tooth driller that I had as a child (Think: If the Bride of Frankenstein had married Batman’s arch enemy, the Joker, and together they had a child who went to dental school—that was my childhood dentist). My flash backs to the horror show (i.e. dental appointments) have left me with little thrill in having any dental work done, let alone a root canal AND a wisdom tooth pulled on the same day.
My Monday date with destiny is a result of the fact that my regular dentist thought I needed a wisdom tooth pulled, so he sent me to a specialist. The oral surgeon thought I needed to also have a root canal on another tooth done by an endodontist. So bata boom, bata bing, in one morning to remember I will have a root canal performed by one guy and a wisdom tooth pulled by another guy in a different office across town. If I survive the ordeal, the day will go down in history, “as the day Rob Prince thought he was going to die.” If I don’t survive, well, when Karla gets to heaven the first words she will hear from Jesus is “well done my good and faithful servant,” but the first words she will hear from me will be, “I told you so.”
Bad days happen to everyone (even if they do not include the dentist). Sometimes far worse things happen than having a wisdom tooth removed on the same day as a root canal. Not every day is easy. Some days are terribly hard. Jesus address this issue in Luke 13. He gives two examples of bad things happening. 1) Pilate executed a group of people in the temple, and 2) a tower fell in Siloam that killed 18 people. Referring to the victims of Pilate’s actions Jesus said, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.” (Luke 13:2-3). Both of these days qualify as far worse than a trip to a dentist or two.
The logic of the day was bad people suffer, good people don’t. According to Jesus words, that is not the case. Sometimes bad things just happen. Moreover, our attention should not be on the gossip surrounding questions of “what did the bad people do wrong?” Rather the question we should be asking ourselves is, “What am I doing right?” It’s a question that Jesus seems most interested especially if my bad day turns really bad and results in my demise (sooner or later we all have a date with the grim reaper). One Day we will all stand before the Throne and give an accounting of our actions. Jesus seems to be saying, don’t sweat what happened to others, have you repented and do you know where your eternal accommodations will be?
I am sure that there will be dentists in heaven. There will even be crowns, just not dental crowns. There won’t be any drills, probes, swish and spitting into the bowl, Novocain, or anything like it. No wonder we used to sing, “When we all get to heaven what a day of rejoicing that will be.” I want to go to heaven one day, but I hope it’s not Monday.