This morning I had an appointment with my dentist to get a couple cavities filled. After a few minutes of small talk, the Dr. injected the right side of my mouth with Novocain and stepped away for a little while to let the numbness set in. As I was lying there, I gazed up at the examination light and began to praise the Lord for Novocain, without which I could not deal with the pain that lie ahead. Think about it, can you imagine having to go through such a procedure without half your face being numb? I know some people can do it, but I certainly could not.
A few minutes later the Dr. returned and went about her business..drilling..sealing..and drilling some more. I thought to myself, "Wow, how great it is to be numb!" After about 15 minutes the entire procedure was complete, and I headed back to the waiting area. My wife had just pulled in with our 3 kids (she had the appointment immediately after mine), we greeted each other and I went out to take her place in the car with the kids.
The kids were excited to see their Daddy, and I hopped in the car to say hi and give my daughter (4 years old) a hug and a kiss. "Dad-eeeeeeeeeee!", she screeched as I entered the back seat of our SUV. We proceeded to squeeze each other in the type of embrace that only a father and daughter can appreciate, followed up with a big kiss. That was when it hit me. I couldn't feel her kiss. I tried again…nothing. The numbness that saved me from the pain of drill was the same numbness that interfered with me realizing one of the greatest joys I have as a father.
What exactly is numbness? Numbness, is the result of being desensitized; to become insensitive or callous. Wow, I thought to myself, where else in my life have I become numb or desensitized? What worldly attitudes, actions or perceptions have I allowed to invade my life and make me insensitive or callous? How have these actions or attitudes interfered with me enjoying the greatest joys that I have as a follower of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ?
How could I have let this happen? I have lost focus on what is Right, what is Pure. Sure, in the moment my attitudes, actions or perceptions may have helped dull the pain. Sure, in the moment they may have even made me feel good. Sure, in the moment they may have made me think I'm happy. But at what cost?
The Bible is clear as to what we are to focus our lives on the numbness and indifference which come with things of the world, and equally as clear to the consequences: Romans 8:12-14:
"Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation—but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God."
Brothers and Sisters, we must stop numbing ourselves to the Spirit of God and put to death the misdeeds of the body. Only after the numbness introduced by sin is removed can we truly be led and utilized by the Spirit of God. And after all, that is what we are called to do as Christians. That IS our primary reason for being here.
I pray you will examine yourself, examine where you have become numb. But it doesn't stop there. YOU must do something about it. Today's the day.