My parents are not going to be proud of this statement, but I always forget to wear my retainers. I had braces for two and a half years, after many (many) years of sucking my thumb. Y’all. Until I was in the fifth grade. It was bad.
Anyways, the point is, I forget to wear my retainers all the time. Then, after a while of forgetting, I try to squish them back over my teeth. It works, but it’s kind of uncomfortable. In the time I wasn’t wearing the retainers, my teeth shift back to the position that’s most comfortable for them. When I put them back on, the retainers remember how my teeth should go, but they’ve got to pull them back into that position.
I feel like this is how we can be in our spiritual lives. Sometimes we go through periods of time where we’re not pressing in. Maybe we’re not reading our Bibles, or maybe we’re are, but it’s only to check a box and say we did. Maybe we’re wallowing in stress and anxiety instead of giving those things to God. We’re forgetting to wear our retainers folks.
For me, it’s my schedule. When there’s stress or things I want to avoid in my life, I fill my schedule with everything under the sun. I use activities, school, work, whatever the case may be, as distractions to avoid what I really should be focusing on.
Whatever the case may be, we’ve got to remember to put our retainers on. Without them, things move. Our minds and lives shift back to what’s in our nature- and frankly, just like our teeth, what’s comfortable and natural in our lives doesn’t look as good!
Braces are expensive. Retainers are expensive. Why? Because our smiles are valuable! I don’t know about you, but smiles are one of the first things I notice on someone. It’s something we want to pay personal attention to, because other people notice it. But as much as people notice smiles, they notice lives more- and our LIVES are far more valuable than our teeth.
We’ve got to put those retainers back on our lives! When we do that, we will see change. Maybe it’s uncomfortable, because it involves waking up a little bit earlier to spend time with Jesus before the day begins. Or maybe it’s reaching out to mend relationships you feel God’s calling you to mend. Maybe it’s being financially generous- who knows?! (Trick question, God does, and you should ask Him…. gotcha!!) But things WILL actually start shifting. Past the discomfort, life will look better (even when it’s hard), because it’s inline with God’s plan for you.
Let’s bust out those spiritual retainers people!!!!
P.S.- for those of you out there who wear actual retainers, consider this your friendly reminder. You’ll thank me later. You’re welcome.