What is our goal?

Whether we are talking about our Sunday service, our kinships, or really anything we do as a church, when we get to the question of, “what are we hoping to see happen out of this?” it always comes down to transformation. Will what we do, & how we do it, help people to become more like Jesus?

As I looked in the mirror and noticed a face quite different than the one I’ve been looking at for years, a few thoughts about transformation popped into my head.

Transformation takes time.
My dentist first suggested this procedure 4-5 years ago, and I wrote it off. When he brought it up again, it took about 6 months to get in to see a specialist. About that long to get approval from the insurance company. Once that was set up, it took almost 5 months to get into see the orthodontist.

Once I saw the orthodontist, I had the braces on in a matter of days,  but that was last May.  I’ve had tons of x-rays, and molds of my mouth…computer modeled of my jaws have been made. And then last week I had the surgery. Now, 5 weeks of healing, then more time with braces to fine tune everything.

Transformation is beyond me.
In order for this whole process to move forward, I needed to rely on a whole team of people who specialized in various areas. The orthodontist…the Maxillofacial/Oral surgeon…the anesthesiologist…the nurses…the staff of each doctor. And of course my dentist, who after I turned down his first request to move forward on this, sat me down and told my why this was so important.

I was totally incapable of doing any of the work…I had to allow those who knew what they were doing to do what needed to be done. I had to trust them….even if it seemed difficult, and I would have chosen something else.

For Transformation to happen, I need to cooperate.
While I was at the mercy of others, I needed to regularly make a decision to stay there. I needed to show up for my appointments, not eat things I wasn’t supposed to eat, not eat or drink the day of the surgery. And now, to recover from the surgery, there are more instructions I need to follow.

Transformation is not comfortable and cost us something.
While nowhere near as traumatic as my first experience with braces…it still hurt a lot. There were days when eating beans hurt. And for the 3 days after the surgery…that was pretty awful. And even now, I know there are still months ahead of me before I’m back to full strength. (And if you were at the Vineyard on Sunday and heard me speak…now that was uncomfortable.)

The area that needs transformation, might not always have been our first choice.
If you had asked me, what part of my body I would like transformed it would have more likely been turning the extra pounds around my waist into “6-pack abs.” (vanity of vanities, or something like that). My teeth seemed okay…yeah they weren’t straight, but I’d already been down the braces road, and had no desire to go there again.

The Transformation is better than we imagined.
I went into this process thinking, “I need to go through this horrible experience just so my teeth don’t start falling out. Maybe dentures wouldn’t be all that bad.” However, after the surgery, while there is still some work to do, my teeth are likely to be with me for a long time…they are straight too! I’ll actually be able to smile! (if you have any old pictures of me, chances are my teeth are not showing🙂 And did I mention that I can breathe through my nose!?! And I don’t look like Jay Leno anymore!

 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.  Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Romans 12:1-2