Well, not exactly toothache. Last time I was at the dentist I had some x-rays on my back lower teeth to look for cavities, and it showed up that the wisdom teeth on either side were coming through at an angle - both were still submerged, but tilted forwards about 20-30 degrees, and on a collision course. We left them, since neither of them was giving me any pain at the time. That time is over. Hence the time of this entry. It’s the kind of pain that really isn’t too bad if you’ve got plenty to be doing, but trying to sleep is the pits. I did actually manage an hour or so, but the gums have continued to swell, and the discomfort proportionally, so I figured I may as well get up, and do something profitable. Not sure where rambling away on my blog fits into that, but anyway.
I’m reminded of one of Jonathan Edward’s resolutions:
10. Resolved, when I feel pain, to think of the pains of martyrdom, and of hell.
I guess the big idea behind that is to limit self pity, and to get a good perspective. The previous one is equally fascinating:
9. Resolved, to think much on all occasions of my own dying, and of the common circumstances which attend death.
As far as I can tell from the bits of his biography and other writings that I’ve read, Jonathan Edwards was not a morbid kind of person. His attitude was to think about things that would do him spiritual good, irrespective of whether it was comfortable. All the resolutions demonstrate the amazing seriousness which was characteristic of his life - for him, religion (in the sense he used the word) was not an important part of his life, but absolutely everything.
While I’m rambling, I’ve got to mention “The Heavenly Man”, which I’m reading at the moment, and really enjoying. There are, without a doubt, quite a number of places where theologically I can’t agree with what is being implicitly taught. But on the whole I have to say I’ve been so challenged by it. Some of the Christians seem to match descriptions like 2 Corinthians 8:1,2 so amazingly. Brother Yun is clearly a mighty man of God, and must have been a very well known Christian in China, yet when in prison his family suffered great poverty, as the Christian community was too persecuted and poor itself to help them. If a famous preacher over here was in anything like a similar situation, you could guarantee his family would be well cared for — we live such pampered comfortable lives, and I for one so easily forget the immense suffering of Christians in other lands.
Well, I’ve still got about 4 hours before I’ll be able to get any pain killers, so I’ve got to find some more things to do. So far I’ve fixed some things with the CCIW website, added VALLEY as a moderator, fixed some problems with this blog (times should now show up correctly instead of German time, including all previous posts), read my email, and a few other bits and pieces. I do have about 20 things on my todo list, but none of them looks fun…