Monday, August 8, 2016

Comfort or Pain?

The history of the word “comfort” reveals an important narrative. The word is made from two Latin word parts, com-, an intensifying prefix which means “together with,” and fortis, which means “strong or strength.” Later, the Latin word confortare comes to mean, “to strengthen much.” Eventually, an Old French word, conforter, would add words like “solace” and “help” to the definition. In the 14th century, another French word conforten is defined as, “to cheer up, console.” Finally, by the 17th century, the English version of the word implies the sense of physical ease that we understand today. In about a millennia, this word went from meaning, “together-strength,” to meaning “pain-barrier.”

So which do you prefer? Comfort or Pain? When I first asked this question to my friends they immediately responded by saying COMFORT of course. Why wouldn't we all?! There aren't many of us that wouldn't automatically respond with anything else. Our life seems to exist surrounded with trials, work and effort to eventually gain an opportunity to COMFORT. Isn't that sort of the definition of vacation? 

Everyday opportunities allow us to enjoy comfort but we don't often recognize it. We hide it behind levels of achievement never reaching the ultimate goal of fulfillment. A hurdle set by many entrepreneurial minds. There is always another goal to reach. Never do we take the time to smell the roses.....of course unless it's on our calendar and cleared with others between two conference calls, production meetings and various other task generated objectives. How about when we finally rest in our bed? Is it comfortable? Or did we go find a bed of nails to relax on? We find COMFORT in our bed of course.....because we value a good nights sleep.

So when do we or should we choose PAIN? We've all heard the saying, "No Pain, No Gain". Mostly used in the gym or during some physical endurance. I once lifted weights in high school and was 4th place in the national powerlifting championships. To reach that achievement I had to work hard daily at lifting various levels of weights. The next day I was sore. It didn't matter how long I had been lifting, when I worked out different muscle groups strenuously I was sore the next day. Why? Well because it pushed my body past its limits to eventually gain strength. Without the pain.....I wouldn't have experienced the reward of gain.

So does that happen in our everyday lifes? Do we create PAIN? In our business world? In our home? Within our family? We should. We should find a way everyday to push the limits of ourselves to gain the opportunities. Opportunities for each of us to better ourselves. To be better bosses or employees; better spouses, parents or children; better Christians, servants, stewards. How about just being a better person in general. We must challenge ourselves to become stronger.

Some times these opportunities come to us in trials. We face trials, struggles and obstacles in our lives that gives us (mostly unwanted) experiences that eventually builds our endurance and helps us to rise to the occasion, face the challenge and persevere the trail. Once we come out of such trials we are usually much stronger, wiser and more than likely more humble. It's the reward of the trial.

But He was wounded for our transgressions,He was bruised for our iniquities;The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,And by His stripes we are healed.
Isaiah 53:5 | NKJV

ET This I Believe
Eugene Thompson


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