PAIN Part I: Listening To It


I am a male.  I am a wuss when it comes to pain.  You don’t have to ask my wife because I am a male and all (almost all) males become like babies when pain is involved in their bodies.  I have a theory about the way males deal with pain versus females.  Just think about it.  Females who carry children for nine months are faced with having that child with the head of a bowling size head come out of a few centimeter diameter hole.  That to me as a male is the definition of pain and women do it over and over.  Their tolerance for pain is so much greater than that of a male.  There’s my unscientific perspective of pain tolerances.

Back to my story.  About a month ago Nadine and I were in Flagstaff and we decided to go on our regular 4.6 mile hike going up and down canyons on this journey.  It is a strenuous trek, but one that is very enjoyable as we go through ponderosa pines and walk along a meandering creek.  This one particular morning as we were heading up one side of the first canyon, I noticed a dull pain in my chest with corresponding pain in my left arm.  I hadn’t felt it before and stopped half way to seek to relieve the pain.  It subsided in a matter of a couple of minutes and on we went.  I didn’t tell Nadine about it and truthfully didn’t think anything more about it until the next time this pain surfaced about 2 days later.

I began to become consciously aware of the times and frequency of these painful episodes.  The pain was becoming more frequent, and I needed to listen to the pain.  How many times in life do we get warning signs that we just blow off or minimize.  For me the warning sign was a dull pain in the chest and in my left arm.  I needed to listen to that pain.

What about other warning signs that come across on our journey?  It could be a spouse who says that they’re not being listened to.  They are crying out to get our attention, but we don’t heed the warning sign.  What about a teenager who is doing exactly the opposite of what we want them to do?  Could it be that they know what gets our attention and are trying desperately to get our attention but their warning signs are falling on deaf ears.  The warning sign could come in the form of an emotionally and physically spent body.  We are burned out by doing so many things that we don’t give our bodies time to rest and rejuvenate.  Are we listening to the body give warning signs that it’s time to slow down or gain balance?  A warning sign could come in the form of difficulty in our lives that all of us get.  Could it be that the Lord is trying to get our attention through those difficulties and have us turn our eyes toward Him?

On this journey there will be warning signs that come in various messages.  For me the warning sign was in the form of pain that I needed to heed.  Today we have the opportunity to turn on our senses to hear the warning signs before it is too late.

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About James Gorton

I am happily married to Nadine, a person I've known for 20+ years. She and her late husband owned Airpark Auto Service where I took my car for years. Four years after my wife died we began dating and the rest is history. We have a blended family of 6 children between us and love visiting them across this country. We recently had our third grandchild between us. We love to hike, bike and ski. I am a psychologist and do relational life coaching for marriages and families primarily. I love what I do and never get tired of seeing marriages and families move to more healthy places in their lives. Five years ago my oldest daughter Deborah encouraged me to begin writing my thought into a blog I call my Jlog (Jim's log). I have become more and more passionate in connecting everyday experiences to spiritual truths. I hope that as you read my Jlog, you will gain insight into your personal life and experience true growth in your personal and relational life.
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