Originally Posted Aug. 3, 2021
“No pain, no gain”. We’ve all heard that phrase over the years…from parents, siblings, teachers, coaches, sergeants, bosses, etc. That message is usually delivered to us when we’re in pain…. “tough it out, Mr. Big Baby”. I think the message is pretty clear… we need to push through discomfort and even pain to accomplish a particular goal, whether getting in shape or passing a test, or caring for that sick child, or growing in holiness, etc.
I read that the phrase “came into prominence around 1982 when actress Jane Fonda began to produce a series of Aerobic workout videos, using no pain, no gain and feel the burn as catchphrases for the concept of working out past the point of experiencing muscle aches.” You may be happy to hear that the Greek playwright Sophocles beat Jane to the punch in the 5th century with the phrase, “nothing truly succeeds without pain and there is no success without hard work”. I’m sure this is more than you ever wanted to know about this topic.
So, is there a point to this particular BLOG ? Well, I do think it’s generally true that without perseverance (“pain”) we don’t get very far; yet, it’s not specifically about pain. In many cases the Holy Spirit gives us wonderful grace to keep pushing forward. It’s not necessarily about pain, but not quitting…continuing to move forward, getting up when we trip and fall.
Making progress isn’t about being miserable. “Well, I want to become holy , so I guess the next 50 years are going to be plodding thru the quicksand…. rats, can’t wait until this is over.” You don’t read about Jesus moaning to himself, “ this really stinks…I can’t wait until the next three years are over and I’m back in heaven…”.
Last evening one of my grandsons accidently burned himself with some boiling “mac & cheese water”… not pretty…2nd degree burns and a lot of pain. (FYI…he’s home and going to be fine). I read that severe 3rddegree burns can destroy the nerves but the pain can actually be less than 2nd degree burns….i.e. pain doesn’t always equate with the severity of the injury. (A word of caution….please don’t use this medical knowledge when advising your patients at the local PUB)
Regardless, it seems that pain can mean a lot of different things. While pain is certainly not enjoyable, it may indicate some progress in your workout…. in other cases it is not good and it’s a signal to stop what’s causing it… or in other cases the lack of it may not mean all is well.(eg. leprosy, 3rd degree burns, hypothermia…)
So once again, is there a point to this BLOG? I believe there is. Ready ?
”When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” I think Jane and Sophocles may have had a point, “no pain, no gain”. If we don’t push thru the pain or discomfort or tiredness or disappointment, we’re not going to get very far. We need to ask the Lord to give us the strength to not quit. Let’s keep going!