A Surprise Trip to the Dentist

Oct 21, 2016

I needed some emergency dental work some months back and called my dentist’s office, only to discover he was on an extended vacation, but that he had a colleague who covered emergency appointments for him. I called the colleague’s office, was given directions, and told to come in right away.
I was led into a room and told the dentist would be with me shortly. I hadn’t recognized the dentist’s name before, but in the room I saw her diploma on the wall, with what I assumed must have been her maiden name, “Sue Williams.” I laughed to myself as I remembered a sweet, lovely girl in one of my high school classes with the very same name—a girl, frankly, I was quite fond of. She was bright, beautiful, funny, and very sweet-natured and kind to everyone. Everybody loved her, including me. Only I was much too shy to say so much as hello to her back in high school.
Such a common name, what were the odds it could be the same person? Still, I couldn’t help but wonder, what if it was the same girl I went to school with? What if it was that very same girl I was secretly so very fond of so many years ago?
Any such thoughts vanished the moment she came in the room. The quite-elderly, gray-haired woman with the deeply lined face was obviously much too old to have been my classmate. Still, she was a very sweet, smart, pleasant woman with a charming personality. I very much enjoyed getting to know her and, most importantly, she was obviously an exceptionally skilled dentist. Everything went perfectly.
We were making small talk as she finished up and she mentioned growing up in the area, so I asked her what high school she attended. “Crawford High,” she answered.
“Crawford?” I said.
“Yes, Crawford High. I still consider myself a Crawford Colt!”—she said with pride as she mentioned the name of our school’s sports teams.
Still unable to imagine such an old woman could possibly have been my classmate, curiosity got the best of me and I asked her, “What year did you graduate?” She told me, and sure enough, it was the very same year as me. “Why do you ask?”
“Sue!” I exclaimed, “you were IN MY CLASS!”
She lifted her eyeglasses, leaned in, examined my face closely, and asked…
“What class did you teach?”
I’m not sure there’s a whole lot to add to that story other than to say, yes, time does have a way of getting away from us. In fact, is it just me, or does anyone else find themselves thinking something happened 2 or 3 years ago, only to find out, no, it was 10 or 15 years or more ago?
The days do have a way of turning into weeks, months, years and even decades. It’s funny, when you’re younger, older people are always warning you about how fast time goes by, and when you’re younger, you’re like, “oh it does not—you stop teasing.” And then you get older and you’re like, “wow, how’d that happen?”
Well, it did, and whatever inequities there are in this world, we are each given the exact same 24 hours in each day and they keep ticking away at the same rate for all of us. No wonder we’re told in scripture, quote, “So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom,” as we read in Psalm 90:12.
And if time slips by faster than perhaps we would like sometimes, how wonderful to know our God is faithful throughout every portion of our lives, as we’re reminded of in Isaiah 46:4, where we read, “And even to your old age I am he; and even to hoar hairs”—that’s old English for “gray hairs”—“will I carry you: I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you.”
So, God is faithful to His children throughout all their days, and in the end, that’s what matters most.
Meantime, if you went to Crawford High School in San Diego, California, and you ever run into me, please keep it to yourself.

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