Pick Your Pain

I have been dealing with a couple of different injuries for a week and a half or so (on top of my normal “old man” aches and pains). I really liked this devotional by Jennifer McAlister. Although I can’t wait to be past these physical ailments, i am thankful that I can still be active enough to get them!

One of my favorite quotes is by Hunter S. Thompson: “Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a Ride!”

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“Pick your pain” is something I say to myself every day. On this side of eternity, we all suffer from some form of pain, exercise induced or non-exercise induced. For me, the aching feet and sore muscles after a long run are a small price to pay for the health benefits gained from exercising. If you are inactive you may not experience this but could very possibly suffer from the consequences of a sedentary lifestyle; obesity, heart disease, and high blood pressure–just to name a few. This pain is far more dangerous so we should choose the pain that provides the better alternative.

Pick your pain doesn’t just apply to the running world but also to society as a whole. If everyone understood that there is no such thing as a “pain-free” route in life, we wouldn’t have the entitlement mentality that is becoming more and more prevalent in today’s world. Starting a business is hard, getting an education takes discipline, being a good parent takes endurance and patience, achieving goals takes commitment… but oh the reward is so great and desire realized is sweet to the soul.

The road to success, happiness, and fulfillment is the road less traveled because it is the hardest route to take. Only those who understand the consequences of the alternative dare to step foot on this path. It can be hot, hilly, and at times treacherous.  Ironically, those on this journey are happier than their flatland counterparts who chose the seemingly easier route. They have come to realize that there is joy in the midst of pain. They have learned that faith, hope, goals, dreams, and purpose, provide strength to put one foot in front of the other and the journey becomes an adventure.

What the easy road travelers don’t understand is that a pain-free life doesn’t exist. The more they try to avoid “doing hard things” the harder their lives become.  The Bible reminds us that there is profit in all labor but mere talk leads only to poverty. Profit is the reward for labor.  Poverty is the reward for trying to avoid pain. I feel so sorry for those who take this path because they will never know the joys of accomplishment or the reward of hard work. When you wake up tomorrow morning you will have a decision to make. My advice to you is pick your pain!

Prov 13:19-“A longing fulfilled is sweet to the soul, but fools detest turning from evil. ”

Prov 14:23-“All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.”

Romans 8:18- “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.”

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