This is the first installment of what I hope to be a regular Monday feature: A Metaphor for Monday. Each Monday during our weekly meeting, I will be pep-talking my boys with a metaphor with which to tackle the week. I will be recycling the material here, and I hope by that to make it helpful not only to others, but to myself as well.
You’ve had a full day and you finally lay down to rest. Suddenly, your legs start throbbing. Growing pains. What a pain!
It is not comfortable, and sometimes it is downright painful, but it’s easier to tolerate when you know that it’s the feeling of growing. After all, you want to grow. You want to be tall; you want to grow up. Growing up can hurt.
Instead of focusing on the hurting or the tiredness, focus on the growing.
It is good to want to grow up, and along the way the growing will cause pains, aches, and tiredness. If we look at the growth, we will be encouraged and be able to bear the aches. If we focus exclusively on how we feel, we will be discouraged, sad, and upset.
My children, feel the growing rather than the aching.
When your head hurts after math, know you’re getting smarter. Don’t get upset, get glad. And, get outside.
When your heart and mind fight to be cranky, and you struggle to win the fight and stay cheerful, and you win it, you have a real success to be cheerful about, even if you feel worn out by it. Remember, prayer is the most effective weapon in the fight against a bad attitude.
When you want to give up because it’s hard, because it’s a pain, take on that pain as a challenge. Go after that pain and keep on going, don’t give up, don’t give in, because on the other side is growth.
Mothers, feel the growing rather than the aching.
When our feet or backs ache at the end of the day, be grateful for the good work we’ve been given to complete: “And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing” (James 1:4). Perseverance might hurt our bodies, our pride, our affection for ease, but the growth that it gives is worth the cost.
When we see the awkwardness of our growing children or feel a pang when they grow in independence, remember that passing the torch to them as the next generation is our aim, and we must rejoice in their growth rather than grow weary or sad because of it.
When we want to give up, to complete our work partially, to pull the covers over our faces (maybe even in the middle of the day), to react with a sharp tongue, we need to make the painful choice to grow. It’s not comfortable, it’s not easy, but we, too, still have growing and maturing to complete through grateful obedience.
Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into Him who is the head, into Christ. (Ephesians 4:15)