Do you want to know the latest information and news about today's important topics in dentistry? Join the conversation with CMDA's Dental Blog focusing on news and other stories important to Christian dental professionals.
As professionals in dentistry, our joy of serving our friends and community becomes a process of repeatedly greeting and warming up old friendships and occasionally rekindling lost friendships. Good dentistry is about befriending our customers, perhaps more than any modern day remaining professions. We still have our role in every responsible community member’s life, providing competent cleaning and check ups every six months (annually for the edentulous).
All of us suffer, to some extent, through our lifetimes. Those of you who know me know I am a quadriplegic, which limits my ability to do things, and have almost constant neuropathic pain. I have personal experience with pain and suffering, and, being an orofacial pain specialist, I also deal with it on a professional level.
One of my fondest memories is singing Psalm 118:24 with my mom on the way to daycare: “This is the day, this is the day that the Lord has made, that the Lord has made. We will rejoice, we will rejoice and be glad in it and be glad in it.”
Have you ever had that feeling when you walk into a room and stand there for a few seconds and you have not the slightest recollection as to why you walked into that room? But you know, by golly, you know it was something very important and you look around as a minute or two passes.
Are class II composites getting old fast? Tired of searching for canals on that maxillary molar? Is dentistry becoming dull? This could be for several reasons, but one thing to consider is how much you are doing your daily work for the glory of God. Are you working for yourself, for others or for the Lord?
One of my favorite literary works beyond the Bible is a poem called “Footprints.” There is a great message about God and His help during our hour of need. More specifically, it is a dialogue between a man and God, and the two are on a beach reviewing the man’s life. In that conversation, the man questions God about His absence during his times of need. That was because the man only saw one set of footprints in the sand. However, God responded, and like a loving father speaking to His son with love and gentle correction, He informed the man that it was during those times that He carried him. God had a similar conversation with the people of Israel in the book of Deuteronomy when He reminded His people, through Moses, of the life that He saved them from.
I have personally lived my life pursing one goal after another. I doubt I am alone in this mindset. Maybe it is the goal of attaining high grades, getting into dental school, graduating dental school, getting married and having children by a certain age, buying a practice and becoming a practice owner, having certain possessions (car, boat, house etc.), being the dentist everyone likes, attaining a certain bonus and the list goes on. Once we have attained a goal, we are often looking and striving to attain a bigger goal.
These are answers I hear a lot: The Bible says so. I grew up in a Christian home. I had an experience with God. But we are told our lives will be more difficult. That does not sound good. There will be a reward, but not necessarily in this lifetime. Jesus is not always a “nice guy.” Do we want to believe what is pleasant and easy, do we want to believe what is true? Even though I don’t like my phone bill, I know it is true. Jesus claimed He is the Son of God in Mark 14:62. Why should we believe Him?
All of us entertain questions about the future. About our lives. About our practices. Where will I be in five years? Where will my practice be? Should I invest in a cone beam at this time? When will I be able to identify the right associate for my practice? These are all excellent questions.
Faith and money. Suggesting principles for integrating the two can be both challenging and easily misunderstood. When it comes to one’s personal approach to these matters, devout and studious believers are all over the map as to what the Bible teaches. However, we can all agree, “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows” (1 Timothy 6:10, NKJV).
Let’s celebrate networking. As a young Christian, I yearned for a community of Christian professionals. The Lord had provided Christian fellowship within the dental school. We encouraged each other with prayers and took turns on mission endeavors. There was easy access to meeting times and meeting rooms. CMDA was active and supportive. Yet, this fellowship was sheltered from non-professional challenges. We all have different comfort zones with grace and tact, but here are a few observations that may benefit those who feel awkward in their transition out of the professional schools and begin their community practices.