Once Bitten, Twice Speed

The soaring temperature and the suffocating humidity were brutal this week and I was forced to walk frequently during the 13 mile run. My physical and mental energy were zapped. At the 11 mile mark, I slowed to walk and suddenly got attacked by a bee. It stung my arm and then kept swarming my head. While I am not allergic to bees, the sting hurt and I took off running, swinging my arms around feverishly. The bee was unrelenting and I was forced to a ¾ sprint speed for at least a mile before finally escaping. It must have been quite a sight! Because of the sheer exhaustion and discomfort of the sprint, I forgot the tiny pain of the sting. Catching my breath, I laughed at the fact that this tiny bee forced me to push through the fatigue.

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Improvement and growth are painful. In our spiritual lives, the same principals are generally true. Our evolution or conversion starts internally and is characterized by internal turmoil and pain. We debate ourselves, weigh options, and calculate consequences. It is tough to look at something or someone differently or to think in a new manner. These changes can be challenging and even painful yet eventually they are externalized through action. The pain stems from the internal changes rather than the external action. After we have forgiven someone in our hearts, for example, the subsequent contact with them is undoubtedly easier.

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If we are to make changes in our lives, embracing the pain is often necessary. Stepping past the emotional turmoil and pushing through the mental fatigue will result in spiritual strengthening and stability. In hindsight, the pain may seem like a mere bee sting once we make the positive changes.

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3 thoughts on “Once Bitten, Twice Speed

  1. This post was so very timely. I’m very newly divorced (husband has alcohol issues) and there is a saying in the 12-step programs–“Pain drives the train.” I think that’s what is being said here, right? Nobody LIKES pain, but it can certainly be used to provide impetus for changes we’d never make otherwise. It can force us to stretch beyond what we’d do otherwise. That’s right where I am now–I’m not liking the pain, I’m not liking being forced to re-do and re-think and come up w/new ways of doing things, but I have to have faith that in the end, it will all be so worth it.

    I’m changing jobs as of tomorrow also–better pay, benefits (old job had none)–and yes, it’s scary but it’s going to be way better. Thanks for this post.

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    1. Beth,

      Thank you for your comment and best of luck as you transition. After reading your message, I am reminded that we are called not just to trust God in the “end” but in the process. That seems to be the hard part!

      Also, thanks for inspiring the next post on the newcomer.

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      1. You are absolutely right, trusting the process is tough, especially when it seems you’re heading AWAY from your goal instead of TOWARDS it. There is a half marathon put on by the local running club where I live. It’s an out-and-back. The first mile is pleasant, flat and open along the edge of Lake Michigan w/a nice view. However, when you’re coming back and it’s the LAST mile, it seems to never end. That flat open curve of trail just goes on and on and on….

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