Pain as my servant
A couple of Sundays ago I was playing basketball, if you could call it that, and when I really started to hustle I twisted my ankle very badly. It was looking grim for a long while (lots of swelling and bruising) and I was wondering if I had to go to the doctor to get some X-rays to have them deduce what was going on down there. I kept it wrapped and iced the best I could and it was, easily, the worst injury that I have had outside of breaking bones in my toes and fingers. I am doing much better know and am looking forward to taking the wrap off of my ankle next week sometime. We'll see if that materializes.
At any rate, I was in a lot of pain through the whole process and have been thinking about the role of pain in my life. This is not an original thought by any means, but the pain that I felt in my ankle has been gift, servant, and friend to me. It has alerted me that something is desperately wrong with my ankle and it has set me on a course of action to treat it quite a bit differently than my other ankle. I can't imagine the damage I would have done to my ankle had I ignored the injury and just went about my day in the normal way. I dare say that the injury I sustained would have been exacerbated and, perhaps, even permanent. As it is now I am looking forward to an ankle that will be, by and large, normal and fully functional soon.
Now would I have done all that I have done had I not felt the pain of the injury? What if I smelled vanilla as a result of my injury rather than the unpleasant pain that I did feel? Would that have prompted the appropriate response? I may be overstating this a bit, but I rather think that I would not have taken care of it the way I should have had I not experienced the pain I did. I would have gotten rather used to the vanilla smell or put up with something a little less unpleasant as I did more damage to my ankle.
In that way this real pain that I felt, this real pain that I wanted to get rid of, was a friend to me. He showed me what to do and made my path so clear to me that there was no alternative but to take it. For the service that my pain has rendered I am thankful.