Sunday, March 18, 2018

No Pain, No Gain

"Man's fate is according to his pains." -Robert Herrick, (English, 24 August 1591 – 15 October 1674)

Is fasting like weightlifting? Yes. They both abide by the dictum, “No pain no gain.”
A body builder must push his muscles to greater exertions in order to build them. In the process he feels pain. Microscopic muscle fibers tear, only to be rebuilt stronger with greater mass.

The other day, on the sixteenth day of my nineteen day fast, (see previous post), I was leaving my gallery, riding my bike to the lot where I park my van. I felt lightheaded, and realized hunger and thirst in the background of my activities. Turning a corner, I took hold of the distress. I had the feeling of being able to lift it up like a weightlifter; as if I were exercising spiritual muscles. I felt stronger by stressing my body—same as working out. But inasmuch as this effort is aimed at relying upon the pleasure of God, a much more lasting result is achieved by building spiritual character.

The road to achievement runs through hardship. My daughter Naomi Boone (January 11, 1980 - July 5, 1999)  knew this. She was diagnosed with cancer, which ultimately took her life at the age of nineteen. In the beginning of her ordeal, she wrote in her journal, “Hardship will make us stronger. I think that in every situation, there is good in it.”

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