...If you can stand the pain.
I was a much younger guy. Like almost all young women and men, I wanted to make my mark on the world. Doing so meant (I hoped) pastoring a growing church. After all, no one wants to complete a career and be described as a failure. "He weighed every possibility, often paralyzing his people with negative analysis. He taught them to retreat gracefully. Every time some fire of hope would spark, he would break out the retardants of fear and potential collapse. Under him, they never lost any great battles because they always ran the other way."
I mean, is that the legacy you would want to leave? Of course not!
Such were my thoughts as I sat with a dozen or so of my peers that day. We were there, listening to a man describe how he became pastor of a church that had narrowed their future down to two choices: close their doors or hire him.
They chose him. He came. He stayed. Years had flown by. The church had grown and was vibrant.
I wanted this guy's wisdom. I sat on the edge of my seat and heard these words...
"You can lead a growing church -- if you can stand the pain."
At the time, it was hard to imagine. I thought pain was what you felt when you failed. I thought pain was the sole territory of the team hopelessly watching the final seconds of their season tick away.
It took me awhile, but I started experiencing what he described. Growth means change. Change is uncomfortable. For some, it's terrifying. For others, it's frustrating. Ultimately, it's painful.
But, oh, so rewarding!
You can have babies -- if you can stand the pain.
You can receive a promotion -- if you can stand the pain.
You can walk again -- if you can stand the pain.
You can run a marathon -- if you can stand the pain.
You can get a degree -- if you can stand the pain.
You can lose weight -- if you can stand the pain.
Before you depart this page today, please take a moment to comment. I would love to hear what it is that you know you want to do...
Are you willing to stand the pain?