Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Position of Pain ...

I have been thinking about pain a lot recently. Mainly because I have felt it a lot recently. My back has been causing much pain for about 6 weeks, I got an MRI last week and found out I have several bulging discs and a couple of them are described as protruding and extruding "material". I guess that these are not good things. Next week I have an appointment with a Neurologist. As a result of that appointment I had to fill out several forms about my health and specifically my current back woes.

One of the questions was "The worst position for pain is: sitting, standing or walking." My answer was yes. You see I can't seem to find a position that is pain free. So I just keep doing what I need to do, because it doesn't feel any better in any specific position. If I am going to be in pain anyway I might as well just do normal stuff. So I coached my last month of the volleyball season as normal and haven't missed anything in my ministry either.

But I have been pondering that whole thing of the position of pain in my life. In other words what role, or position, does pain have in my life. I am aware from basic biology and physiology that pain serves a valuable role. It sends a signal that something is wrong, or at least something is not the way it has been under normal circumstances. We are not supposed to ignore pain, at least not until we know the reason for the pain. We normally begin to make some changes when we are in pain. We change positions seeking relief, we take medications seeking relief, we place ice or heat on the painful areas seeking relief and seek medical advice seeking relief. Generally our sole motivation in all these things is seeking relief from the pain. However, the medical people what to know why there is pain before they seek to provide relief options. To be honest when I am in pain my first thought is not why am I in pain, but how do I make it stop?

The reason for the pain is vitally important. Because we often can make changes to not just find relief but to remove the cause of the pain which brings lasting relief. But our first thought, at least my first thought, is just for relief.

Spiritually I believe that most of us have a much higher tolerance for pain than we do with physical pain. We are more willing to ignore spiritual pain than we are physical pain. We often just ignore spiritual pain and "learn to live with it" than we do with physical pain. But if we apply the same rules to our spiritual pain we should be seeking the answer to why we have the spiritual pain and then remove, or allow God to remove, the cause of the pain.

Why do we ignore our spiritual pain more often than our physical pain? This is a question rolling around in my heart at the moment. What are your thoughts?


At 8:20 AM, Blogger Shelley said...

Whoa. Good post.


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