Posted by: Beth | December 29, 2020


Be careful! Don’t run!  You don’t want to skin your knee!

Get DOWN out of that tree before you break your neck! (My children would hear this as permission to stay until the split second before they think they’re about to get break their necks, which is never.)

Drive in YOUR lane.

Give me that knife!

Stop climbing up those shelves.  Keep your feet on the floor!  (Then I can’t walk if I can’t pick up my feet.)

No, we can’t pick up our own groceries.  Someone there might be sick.  Groceries have to be delivered. (So the driver can’t be sick? Or the person who put them in the bags?)

Stay away from those folks; they’ll stab you in the back. (How? They don’t have any knives.)

That’s hot! Stay back! (But Daddy goes into burning buildings.)

Every player on every team in the league gets a trophy.

Stay away from her! She was sneezing earlier.

Don’t waste your breath.  They won’t listen. If they do, they’ll twist everything to hurt you. (But they need to know about Jesus.)

Safety first!  Quality and dependability – eh- whatever. Don’t get hurt.

Somehow, during my lifetime without me noticing as it happened, the prevailing attitude around me has shifted from “Get up, dust off your pants, and get back at it” to “Don’t do that, you might get hurt!”   But is living without hurt – pain- realistic?  I don’t think so.

Remember watching an infant beginning to crawl?  Did she bump on her nose on the floor a few times? Does a toddler learn to walk and run without ever falling and getting a bruise?  Have you observed a child learn to talk who always said words and sentences correctly and appropriately? Who learns the multiplication tables and algebra (a unique kind of pain for some) without wearing out an eraser?  How many live to adulthood – or even to the teens – without crying (or fighting) over words said by a “friend?”

Life includes pain – physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual.  We will not escape it.

Neither do I want to ask for needless or dangerous pain.  There are a lot of things I won’t do, among them:

  • Give a toddler a paring knife
  • Drive the wrong way in an interstate lane
  • Jump in front of a moving train
  • Encourage anyone to stay in an abusive relationship
  • Walk up, hug, and kiss someone with a runny nose, chills, and a fever.
  • Let a ten-year-old drive my car
  • Touch a stove burner while it’s hot

Life is not about totally avoiding pain.  It is about assessing risks and making wise choices.  May we follow the advice of very wise leaders ….  consider the end of the matter.

Ecclesiastes 12:13, Luke 14:28, Psalm 27:5, John 16:33


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