Pain as a Vehicle

If you’ve ever been to Frothy Monkey, then you’ve been to 12th Avenue South in Nashville, Tennessee.  And if you’re like me, you’ve been there a lot.  Maybe you’ve even trekked from Las Paletas up to Imogene + Willie on a beautiful summer day, enjoying the most histper neighborhood this side of the Cumberland River. (Note: there is another hipster neighborhood on the other side of the Cumerland River)  And as your boots strolled up that white sidewalk, you probably never realized that you were walking uphill.

Sunday, the fact that 12th Avenue South is one large uphill battle became painfully clear, as I trotted very slowly through my first 10-mile run.

The uphill at climb from mile 2 to mile 4.5 is Music Row, and the incline from mile 8 to mile 8.5 is 12th Avenue South. Yikes.  Although I was told by my insanely fit and unhelpfully frank older sister that “10 miles isn’t that long,” in reality, it was.

I’ve survived emotional pain, and maybe even some psychological pain, but this is my first experience with extended physical pain.  I am only twenty-five, and still, my body is aches when I work hard. At church Sunday night, I was reminded that everything in this world is hopelessly doomed for decay.

The world around us is trying desperately to make us believe otherwise.  P90x can turn your flab into a cold-hard slab in mere minutes a day.  A nip and tuck here and there can take years off your life.  The fountain of youth? We’ve found it, and it’s called Zumba, Paleo, Pilates, Insanity, or Philosophy makeup products.

Maybe our pain was originally meant to be a vehicle to move us toward the Lord.  I can’t wait for the day I can run miles and miles without feeling the bones in my knees and ankles cry out.  Scripture says that all creation is groaning, waiting in eager expectation for the redemption of our bodies (Romans 8).  And I feel that!

Has physical or emotional pain ever served a purpose in your life?  How did you deal with it, avoid it, or cope with it?

Until then, five more weeks and just a little more pain to go…