What I learned from my wisdom tooth

Maybe it’s called a wisdom tooth because it can teach us some things about life…

So, I had my first wisdom tooth extraction. Did I see it coming? No. Was I prepared going into the dental clinic a few days back, that my “toothache” would require a procedure on the spot? No. Did I regret the visit? No.

Because more than just fixing my problem, the experience taught me a few things.

1. Don’t wait till you’re in pain before visiting the Dentist

That was literally the last thing the nurse said to me before I left the clinic, of course, in a more Singlish way. Going to the dentist, I learnt:

  • My teeth weren’t as clean as they seemed
  • My teeth could have used regular cleaning by the dentist
  • My wisdom teeth do exist and have been growing “behind-the-scenes”

Yes, my last dental appointment was years ago. Is it because I wanted to be filthy? No! I just did not see the need to visit the dentist because I brush regularly and had it all taken care of. Well, that’s what I thought.

And isn’t this the same for our lives as well? Many of us do not consider a need for God – the greatest “Doctor” and “Dentist” in our lives. It is only in times of pain that we look to something or Someone higher for help.

Yeah, I have learned not to make that mistake again – either physically or spiritually. We are all not perfect. Our inner selves aren’t as clean as we want to believe sometimes. It could use regular maintenance and cleaning by God. And most importantly, there are always things beneath the surface we do not see, that He can reveal and fix before it causes us further pain. Choose to go to Him daily.

2. Removing a wisdom tooth is uncomfortable and even painful, but is good in the long run

For all of you who have been through an extraction before, you know it does not feel good. My dentist did a great job and I felt no pain in the whole process. But it still was uncomfortable! I mean who likes having to keep your mouth open, trying to breathe through your nose while someone else is trying to pull a tooth out from the back of your mouth using some tool or device? And of course, there is that sore afterwards.

But man, am I glad I did it. Now I do not have to worry about chewing food on the left side and feeling that sharp ache. And with confidence, I can even say I would not have to worry about it anymore in the foreseeable future!

Mirroring this to our lives again, it is the same with allowing God to remove negative or harmful things from our hearts. For some of us, it’s insecurity. For others, it’s fear. Or maybe, it’s bitterness, selfishness or anger or pride…

The process may not be easy and we may need to humble ourselves to admit we need change, but it sure is good for us in the long run! Just like how I chose immediately to remove my wisdom tooth, I want to obey God immediately and change quickly whenever He corrects me.

3. Getting an extraction costs, but is surely worth it

One last thing I found particularly interesting is how the dentist constantly tells me how much the procedure would cost me. It is almost like he did not want me to be surprised or shocked by the bill at the end. It was clear he wanted me to have a choice, and to be sure of what I am in for.

Before doing anything, he showed me the total cost of consultation, X-ray, extraction and sterilisation. If there was any price I was not willing to pay, say the extraction that would cost me hundreds of dollars, I could opt out and just have the X-ray first and do the extraction another day.

Yes, the entire visit cost me $300, and I did consider whether or not to spend that money for the extraction. But I am glad I did it. There was just no better alternative! It was well worth it. Would I rather spend some money which could be earned back or suffer more pain? The answer was clear.

This reminds me again of our relationship with God. Jesus makes it clear to us to “count the cost” (Luke 14:28-33) of following Him. Because as a Christian, our problems don’t automatically go away. As a Christian, we face challenges too. As a Christian, we learn to obey and trust in God even in times when it is difficult to. However, what we get in return is a pathway to joy and freedom that is eternal.

What is $300 compared to long-term painless eating?

What is humility and having faith compared to eternal life?

Nothing.

Entering the 2020s

First post of the decade. Second one about crossing into a new one. Just a random “diary” kind of entry.

Was just lying in bed two nights ago and it kind of hit me. This past decade was the one that changed me the most as a person. It formed the transformative years of my life.

At the start of the 2010s, I was a totally different person and would have never imagined how I would be by the end of it.

In this decade, I tried out martial arts (for awhile). In this decade, I found my love for movies – especially the MCU. In this decade, I picked up the acoustic guitar. In this decade, I discovered my passion for writing. In this decade, I experienced four phases of life – secondary school, polytechnic, army, university.

There were so many other things that happened in this span of 10 years, but nothing transformed my life like the following: coming to Heart of God Church and knowing Jesus.

In 2011, I became a Christian and everything has been the greatest adventure since. It is hard to believe just 10 years ago, I did not know God.

More than the skills, experience and interests I adopted along the way, with Christ and church, I have found true joy, purpose and relationships for my life. I enter the new decade with faith, friends and family – more than I ever had before.

It’s crazy. In this next decade, I am going to enter my 30s (though not that soon). I am going to experience the next phases of life – love, career and family.

But no matter where life takes me, I set my eyes again, like I did in the 2010s, on the one Person that is always there for me.

If there is only one thing I can bring from my life in the 2010s to the 2020s, it is my relationship with Jesus Christ.

I may not know what the future holds, but I know Him who holds my future.

And that makes all the difference.

Life is too short

For some reason, New Year’s Eve feels a little bit different this time. Maybe it’s the fact that we are crossing into a new decade, or maybe I am just feeling sentimental. Either way, time flies.

The older I get, the faster time seems to pass. And the faster time passes, the shorter life gets. Which is why I feel…


Life is too short to be petty. 

Life is too short to hold grudges.

Life is too short to make enemies.

Life is too short to complain.

Life is too short to fear.

Life is too short to be selfish.

Life is too short to be negative.

Life is too short to just gain personal success.

Life is too short to think small.

Life is too short to give up.

Life is too short to use it on oneself.


Life is too short not to be generous.

Life is too short not to forgive.

Life is too short not to make friends.

Life is too short not to give thanks.

Life is too short not to take a leap of faith.

Life is too short not to love.

Life is too short not to smile and laugh.

Life is too short not to make a difference.

Life is too short not to dream big.

Life is too short not to believe.

Life is too short not to use it on others.


Life is too short… to live for the short-lived.