The Problem of Pain
I've been dealing with some lower back pain for the past week that has kept me from sleeping well and has made sitting in my chair in front of my desk a trial.
Considering most of my day is spent sitting in my chair in front of my desk, it's been pretty rough these past few days.
I went to the Chiropractor yesterday and got an adjustment on all of the areas that seem to be out of alignment. They told me that my hips were the biggest culprit to my lower back issues and that it would take a while to fix them.
So even though I'm on a path to recovery, I'm still dealing with the pain, and this morning it's really having a go at me.
I got to thinking yesterday about the presence of pain, and how it can change the way you feel about virtually everything in your life.
Chronic pain issues can keep you preoccupied, distracted, and unable to fully be present and enjoy even the good moments. It can also make bad moments seem worse.
In a similar way, the pain that we experience at an emotional or spiritual level can also exact a terrible toll.
The emotional hurts we've experienced, or the spiritual wounds we've endured can occupy us as much or more than any kind of physical pain.
We often carry that pain around, seeking to numb it in ways that can be self-destructive and harmful to others. It can serve as a constant reminder of past failures, mistakes, or the harmful actions of others toward us.
But, if we are willing to surrender our pain, to learn from it, to treat it properly with patience, it can also help us to grow in our faith, and lead us on the path to becoming our best and truest selves.
Leo Tolstoy once wrote:
All the variety, all the charm, all the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow.
There is a song by the band Switchfoot that comes to mind as I write this. One of the lines in the lyrics declares: "The shadow always proves the sunshine."
Our pain can be cast as a shadow on our lives, but that same shadow also helps us to see the light more clearly.