He stood opposed to me with his sword in hand; eyes locked on mine with muscles twitching ready to respond to any movement I made. Any mistake would be costly. I struck high and my sword glanced off of his. Then I brought it down with force in an attempt to overpower him and potentially catch a shoulder or pectoral muscle. His right foot was swift and caught me off guard as it struck my inner thigh, nearly a deadly shot. I staggered but was still able to strike hard enough to cause him to drop his sword. He stood in shock, and fear overcame him as I stood tall with my sword still in hand. I had him.
The ensuing conversation spoke volumes to us both. “Son, you have a decision. Lose, or endure pain to win.” “Can you not get me, Dad?” “Son, I’m going to smoke you with this plastic light saber. You can choose to take the shot and cower, or take the shot as you come in to smoke me back.” “But what if I get hurt?” “You’re gonna get hurt either way.” Before I knew it he launched himself at me, with fists and knees. He risked the pain to win. And pain he got, right before he delivered some pain of his own……and won.
We often live our lives simply to avoid the uncomfortable; the pain. We miss out on the promised land because we don’t want the desert. We compromise our values because we don’t want to be outcast. We miss out on business opportunity because we don’t want to risk the money. We miss out on the joy of dependence because we don’t want to endure the suffering it takes to get there. This is just crazy to me. Is not life more than simply the avoidance of pain?
Many of the good things of our life have come in the midst of suffering. We would have never chosen it, but man am I glad it happens when it does. I wish we would choose that course more often. I hope we can teach our kids in the little lessons of life to endure pain if needed, and go for it even if it hurts.