What’s the gold medal you’re pursuing in your relationship with your beloved? What treasure do you hope to gain from this relationship? What awesome goal are you working toward as a couple? What new spiritual height can help you be a better spouse? What overcoming of wounds or sin would make life easier with your beloved?
Ralph and I recently began riding our bikes every morning between prayer and work. The gold we seek is weight loss and stronger knees and backs. (Years of kneeling before the Lord on a hard floor and sitting behind a computer to serve him have taken their toll — and so has reaching our 60s where wisdom is the blessing instead of physical prowess.) For weeks we rode merrily around our neighborhood with only minor results.
Then I watched the Olympics. I listened to the interviews of winners. And one important message came through: True athletes don’t practice their skill so much that gradually their body improves enough to run farther or jump higher or swim faster than the competition. They don’t wait for that. I had been waiting on my legs muscles to improve enough to bike farther and faster. That’s a mistake. I was slowing down whenever my muscles cried out, “That’s enough pushing for now! You’ve reached the pain threshold.”
True progress is made only by reaching the pain threshold and pushing through it.
Keep going when it hurts; push harder — this is when you begin to make a difference.
Pain while exerting muscles comes from a buildup of lactic acid. If we choose not to focus on the pain but on the goal instead, and if we remain motivated by our passionate desire to reach that goal, lactic acid won’t stop us. Lactic acid is just a reminder that we’re succeeding: We’re getting closer to the gold. Hooray!
- What painful situation have I been avoiding or not handling very well? What’s the gold on the far side of this hardship?
- Where is my beloved’s pain threshold in that situation?
Strengthen your relationship:
Pray together about the situation you reflected on above, asking the Holy Spirit to enlighten you with new insights about it. Then describe to each other what the gold treasure might look like after the problems or challenges are resolved. Why is this treasure worth pushing through the pain to eventually achieve?
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© 2016 by Terry Modica of Good News Ministries