By the time I reached the end of my teen years, I had fragmented my front tooth. Having chipped it via a bullet’s graze or saving my sibling from a ravenous raccoon would have been a terrific story, however, I cannot remember how it was chipped. According my dentist, I either used my tooth as a tool (highly likely), or bit into a bagel incorrectly (again, highly likely), which are equally unimpressive.
Deciding to get the tooth fixed meant sitting in the dentist chair and going through the process required for a replacement veneer. In the throes of tooth sheering and shaping and Novocain ejections in places where soft food feels like an irritant, I would have terminated the entire process, but for the desire to escape being used as a cover model for People of Hillbilly Land magazine. The prepared tooth was small, slender and ugly.
After the grueling procedure of getting fitted for a veneer, I had to suffer through several temporary replacements until the ceramic tooth hue, shape, and fit was perfected.
Right from the beginning I knew that Mr. Temporary Tooth and I would scuffle. He was disobedient, unkempt, and foul. I grew to hate him as each new day began and nearly every day he tried to run from me but I shoved him back in place with a vengeance, bitter and frustrated with his inconsistency and ill-fit. I may have complained to the point of seriously frustrating my husband, but it is not legally documented.
Temporary things are not faultless, neither are they meant to fit well and last long. They fall apart, have flaws, fall off, look big, look small, feel uncomfortable, hurt, annoy us, cause complaining, and disappoint. Temporary things break, need attention, aren’t a responsible solution, fail, and frustrate. Their main job is to work for a very short period of time. They cannot to be trusted to work correctly.
Hebrews 13:14 says, “For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come.” Our earthly lives are temporary. As believers in Christ we should not feel comfortable living in the world knowing that we have a Heavenly Father who is preparing a permanent home for us in heaven. Feeling uncomfortable and disappointed with an ill –fitting world is normal. The essence of temporary living is turmoil. Although we make the best of what the world offers, God’s design is for us to feel uncomfortable here on earth and to yearn for our encounter with Him and living with him forever, right by His side.
After a month my permanent veneer arrived. Mr. Temporary and I have parted ways. I love my tooth and it loves me. I have given up eating bagels and using my teeth instead of scissors, and, if I take care of the rest of my teeth, I can abstain from another affair with Mr. Temporary. He was awful.