Tuesday, January 20, 2009

When pain knocks at the door, is it a welcome guest?

Do you ever notice how most of us try to avoid painful stuff without necessarily taking a look at whats happening and what purpose it may serve. I have been having several discussions lately and the common theme is how to avoid pain. Isnt the focus of most of our spiritual and Ideological beliefs based on this idea. Christianity and other religions enforce the idea if you have the right belief you will avoid eternal pain. Communism tends to be based on the belief that we can avoid the pain of being taken advantage of if we all work together equally. Life has this Dual element to it(Pain and Pleasure). I think back to my youth, I was a small kid, I grew up in a violent enviroment. One aspect that came out of those painful times is that I became physically stronger. I developed the strength to not only protect myself but I now have the ability to protect my Loved ones. Had I not had those early experiences this would not be the case. Many of our artists creations are born of despair. Poetry, music, Art and countless other ideas came from pain, without it they would not have materialized. A blogging friend(Yael) has pointed out on several occasions that part of who we are includes our painful parts. Without them we would not be who we are. Now I am not saying to enjoy the pain(unless youre a masochist lol), but the point is dont try to avoid it, learn from it. So with that said, when my crusty old friend comes knocking I think I will invite him in and ask "What do you have to teach me today"


Redlefty said...

Maybe like it was said in The Princess Bride:

"Life is pain. Anyone who says otherwise is trying to sell you something."


Steve said...

Wow, I actually agree with you (essentially) on this one!

there is a whole theology of suffering that has become neglected by Western Christians because it doesn't fit nicely with our affluent worldview. But a theology that lacks a perspective on suffering is an inadequate theology indeed!

There is a great deal of good to be gotten from various forms of suffering, as you so rightly pointed out. It builds character, for one, and I would argue that it puts one in the position of trusting God.

Paul said that "I delight in difficulties.. because then God's power can rest on me..." (Not for the pain itself, but for the worthy outcome). When we get to the end of ourselves we can really see God much more clearly.

C.S. Lewis said that "pain is God's megaphone".

I hope we can all listen.

Good post! (Well... except for the little dig about Christians avoiding eternal pain - that was a profound oversimplification)

Yael said...

Hey, John, glad I could be the inspiration for some deep thinking. In turn your post inspired a great conversation with my oldest son.

Oversimplification must be the buzz word of the week. I'll have to remember that one when 'people' start bashing Pharisees and the law. It has such a nice condescending ring to it...Cool.

Tit for Tat said...

Good post! (Well... except for the little dig about Christians avoiding eternal pain - that was a profound oversimplification)

Well I dont know about the Christians you hang around with, but the vast majority of the ones Ive encountered are more focused on Jesus as Saviour, than having Jesus as life transformer. It really is that simple.

Kit (Keep It Trill) said...

Hi Tit for Tat,

I found your blog today through Raving Black Lunatic (Big Man), and have been sifting through your posts. This one really caught my eye because I've been delving into this theme on a personal level. It's been a wonderful journey, for as you pointed out, it makes you grow stronger.

This month (Sept 2009) I resumed blogging, and am running a series of posts on mid-life crisis; have done three so far. I invite you to visit and read them.

Cool that you and your wife have a wellness center in Canada. Sounds truly wonderful.

~ Kit