Several things have happened in the last week that have caused me a little angst. For starters, the visit to Dollywood was filled with anticipation; and the day turned out great after I worried about crowds for a day or two. And whenever I teach new teams, which has happened twice in the last week, it is always a little nerve wracking. And both of those classes turned out great as well. So I have been okay with the unknown stuff, until recently.
But last Thursday, my luck started to change a little. I was stranded in Oklahoma City and ended up spending an extra night there after flights out were detained by high winds and poor flight connections. And I started to have a little more concern – nervous anticipation if you will – when I wondered if I would actually take off and get back home on Friday.
The week-end has been a little strange as well. I have been struggling with a little tenderness in my lower jaw and I kept putting off the idea of calling the dentist. Finally, this morning, I made the call and set up an appointment. After x-rays, it was determined that I have an abscessed tooth. And not just any tooth – one that had an abscess six years ago; and the same tooth that I have already had two root canals done on. That’s right – not one, but two.
The dentist looked up the records and back in the summer of 1983, I had my first problem with the tooth. Then, in 2006, they did another root canal and things have been pretty much fine since then, until last week. I recognized the odd feeling, the nagging pain, but I didn’t remember that it was in the same tooth until I saw the records today.
Anyway, the dentist doesn’t do root canals, so I have an appointment at 9:45 Tuesday morning to go find out what is wrong and what the courses of treatment options are. I was told that with so much major work already done on the tooth, the options could be limited. And I am to the point that ibuprofen isn’t working very well on the discomfort. Once again, I am dealing with anticipation of what the morning holds.
Suffice it so say that I never do very well with doctors and health issues. I know that things could be much worse, but I really don’t like the anticipation of it all. And anticipation of certain things never gets easier for me. I guess I can tend to fabricate worst case scenarios and spend quite a bit of time worrying about stuff that I can’t control anyway. You would think that with my pastoral role and theological background, I would be pretty much immune from this stuff – not so…
This evening, I got home from work and Janet was out at a meeting with friends. As I sat working on a project, I couldn’t help but anticipate what time she would be home. That was a positive anticipation, needless to say – but anticipation none the less. Another positive anticipation is thinking when the second coming of Christ will happen. It’s a subject that I think about from time to time. I know that’s odd, but with so much study about the endtimes in my background, I think about and anticipate the second coming.
We are told in the Scripture that nobody except the Father knows the time of the return, but one thing is for sure – believers should look forward to it with great anticipation. And that’s one thing that I look forward to much more than the trip to the dentist tomorrow. The verse for this evening is from Matt. 25:13, “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.”
In other words, keep alert and watch for signs of the second coming of Christ. My encouragement this evening is to affirm that some day our Savior will return to this earth. And that will be great news because it will signify the beginning of the events leading to an eternity with Christ. And there will no longer be any negative anticipation – it will all be good. My prayer is that you, and I, can experience divine peace in the meantime and that those things we anticipate on this earth will yield pleasant experiences. That’s what I’m praying for in the morning… Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…