Teeth and Tires

Screen Shot 2019-10-23 at 9.56.02 PM.pngYou may think teeth and tires are an odd combination having nothing to do with each other. Stay tuned. We’ll get there.

Nearly four decades ago the Lord called me to leave an established congregation in southeast Texas to start a new church in central Texas. From scratch. Terry and I took a big financial hit to make this move. She went back to work outside the home and I took on a part time job.

It was 1981. We had taken a 25% cut in pay, it took eight months to sell our home in southeast Texas, and we were also renting a home in Georgetown. Interest rates were 16-18%!

How clearly I recall having to decide every month which of our bills would be paid and which would need to wait till next month. Late fees and penalties had not yet emerged but the interest kept accumulating on outstanding obligations. Times were tough.

One expense we simply chose not to incur for a number of years was regular family dental checkups and cleaning. Just didn’t fit into our budget. By the grace of God, we were able to get back into that routine and our teeth and gums seem not to have suffered permanent damage.

Teeth are important. We use them every day of our life. They need to be taken care of. A dentist friend of mine says, “Floss only those teeth you want to keep.” Good advice.

New topic. Most Texans drive a lot. We live in a large state, with 268,597 square miles and many roads. A study 10 years ago says Texas has 679,917 “lane miles.” That’s a lot of highway and is the highest number in the U.S. Next largest is California with a mere 394,383.

From pickup trucks to SUVs to four door sedans to buses to 18 wheelers, people are going from one place to another. One thing all these vehicles have in common? They all need tires.

Yesterday on the way home from a pastors conference in Flower Mound, a suburb of Dallas, all the cars in front of me on I-35E, traveling south at 75-85 mph, were swerving to the left or to the right. After the SUV right in front of me had passed the object everyone was trying to avoid, it came right at me. A big chunk of rubber tire had obviously broken loose from the 18 wheeler parked on the side of the highway several hundred feet ahead.

By God’s grace I was able to avoid that hazardous obstacle. It reminded me of the importance of maintaining those black round rubber things that connect a vehicle with the road beneath.

Tire pressure, rotation, and balance. Wheel alignment and suspension checks. All important for safety, comfort, and longevity of the tires we all need and take for granted.

Teeth and tires. A couple of God’s unique and sometimes neglected gifts. What would we do without them? How necessary is it to take care of them?

It’s part of our multi-faceted responsibility for care and maintenance of everything in life that’s important for our health, safety, and well-being, including teeth and tires. Not to be taken for granted but appreciated and cared for. Regularly. Faithfully. Thankfully.