Consider the Waterpik
I have gum disease. Let’s just get that out of the way.
As a result, I have a Sonicare, an Oral B Pro 1000, and a Waterpik water flosser on my bathroom counter along with a giant jug of Crest Gum Care mouthwash. And in the drawer below the counter, my Oral-B Gentle Glide floss, Sensodyne, Arm & Hammer baking soda toothpaste (it’s gentle on the gums), and Parodontax toothpaste. My dental hygiene paraphernalia requires its own zip code. That’s what you do when you like your teeth and prefer not to lose them. I don’t mean to brag, but my hygienist says I’m doing a really good job keeping my periodontal disease under control.
So my first Waterpik broke a while back. It still worked to floss my teeth, but the flossing attachment holder cracked and fell off, so I had to lay the flossing attachment on the counter instead of sliding it neatly back into its stand. After a while, the rest of the contraption decided to follow suit, and I had to buy a whole new Waterpik.
I had been using my new Waterpik for quite some time when one day I noticed something. The flosser attachment was lying on the counter. I picked it up and slid it into its unbroken, perfectly functional stand. It dawned on me that ever since getting my new Waterpik, I had been putting the flosser on the counter…right beside its stand.
I had become so accustomed to adjusting my behavior to accommodate my old broken stand that I forgot I had any other choice. I was acting out of habit.
I wonder how often I engage in certain behaviors because I forget I have a choice in the matter? How often am I operating on auto-pilot? Out of force of habit?
I’m so used to the way it’s always been, the way I’ve always been, that I forget I am a growing, changing person who is not limited by past habits. Just because I reacted poorly to some particular situation in the past, it doesn’t mean I don’t have new tools, resources, or resolve to react differently now. Just because something worked well for me in the past, it doesn’t necessarily mean that’s the best option for me today.
God, help me keep my eyes open for habits that don’t make sense any more. That don’t serve me or others well. And give me the grace and courage to do something about it. Amen.
Who knew there was so much insight to be gained from a little gum disease fighting Waterpik?