No Pain, No Gain.
We have all heard that mantra at least once in our life. [And if you haven’t heard it before, what planet did you come from? Totally serious here.] Athletes hear it more often than others, naturally.
Of course, not all pain is good. Some pain is a warning that something is going wrong, or has gone wrong, with our body. Thinking on it, I believe it is not so much pain but suffering that is necessary for gain. Nothing that has ever been worth gaining was acquired without suffering. Even if we are given something, to keep it usually requires suffering of some form. So a more accurate, but far less catchy, slogan would be: No Suffering, No Gain.
To excel at academics requires a certain kind of suffering. The sacrifice of time, the building up of discipline, the forgoing of certain pleasures… all are necessary to achieve success.
To excel at anything athletic likewise requires suffering. Time, effort, ache and the careful management of diet are all different types of suffering required for success.
Likewise, suffering is necessary for our faith. Deep Strength has a post up about meditation and building discipline, something absolutely necessary for a sustainable and rock-solid faith. Whether it is fasting, cold showers, the spending of time or something else, suffering is part of living the faith.
Heck, even advocates of Game will tell you that it takes a lot of time and effort to get anywhere. That is suffering of a form. Certainly learning to handle and deal with rejection involves some suffering, at the very least at first. While I don’t agree with the purpose, I can give a grudging measure of respect for the discipline required to get anywhere with it.
The point of all of this is to remind men that we are made to persevere. Suffering is part of our life. There is no escaping that. Future posts (hopefully later this week), will cover this further. But in the meantime remember that mantra: No Pain, No Gain.