Getting to the Root of the Problem

I’ve been avoiding hot foods for some time now.

I wait until the temperature drops before I eat, and/or drink.  Even my beloved coffee has to hit the lukewarm status, which then causes my tongue to coat over from the cream.

It all started about six months ago.  Apparently, I had an infection, which slowly ate away at my gum.  So much so, my dentist had to refer me to a specialist.  But, after a visit to the periodontist, who happened to resemble an Abercrombie model, I made it out fairly unharmed.

So what perplexes me is the randomness of the pain I continue to have.  When I least expect it, something triggers this intense discomfort that radiates through my entire jaw.

Yet, the displeasure is only temporary.  Within minutes, I am back to normal.

Until last night.

I had a soda (that’s pop for my Northern friends!) for the first time in who knows how long.  Since I prefer my beverages either aged in a bottle, or steamed from a machine, the carbonated drink is not my normal go to.

At first I was fine.

Until a pain arose from within that was immeasurably higher than all the other times before.  And, it stayed for a good 30 minutes, before it lessened.

You would think this would be a good time to revisit my adorable dentist?  Well, I am not sure.  It could be because as soon as the pain resides, I go back to normal status.

That, and I already went in for this problem. He mentioned that there was some slight nerve exposure.  He also said that it is quite possible the tooth was fractured even though it was not apparent on the x-ray.  And if this was the case, I would be in need of an implant.  The prescription he left me was with words:

“If the pain is ongoing, come back in.”

Great.  I just want someone to tell me what the problem is, and how to remedy it.  Isn’t that why he earns the big bucks anyway?

Before I know it, I’ll be fitted for dentures.

Okay, so where the heck am I going with all this trivial information that you are probably wondering by now why you are still reading…

Sometimes we need to get to the root of the problem.

The root of my tooth issue could be anything from an exposed nerve, to a broken tooth.

The root of my depression, for instance, could be anything from environmental, to hormonal, to spiritual, to situational.  Or, it could be a combination of the four that draws me down and off-kilter.

Or, the core of my commitment issues could be simply the fact that I am a ‘starter’, to as complex as a need to flee from responsibility due to insecurity, a fear of failure, or maybe a fear of success.  Who knows why the desire to ditch overwhelms me at times?

What I do know is this:

In order to heal, we need to get beyond the surface, and down to the root.  

To do so, can take time.  And discomfort.

Jesus asked a man, who laid on the ground, unable to move, a pivotal question which seemed overly obvious:

Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years.

When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?”

Well, duh.  Of course he did.  Why would he lay there in the first place?  But, oftentimes I wonder if we would rather ruminate in pain.

It could be we understand our pain.  We know how to maneuver around it, without it causing us to be entirely debilitated.

Or, it only rises up on occasion, so we tolerate it.

But, it is when it gets to the pivotal point where it has us down and out, we need to answer some questions ourselves.

Do I want to be well?  

Will I do what it takes to heal?  

Even if it requires me to experience pain?

Even if healing is not instantaneous?  

Even if…

Yes, I do.

How about you?