A life without pain seems like a good idea.  No one in their right mind likes going through pain —  it’s annoying and debilitating. That’s why we prefer things that don’t cause us discomfort.

But is a pain-free existence all it’s made out to be?  I’m not quite sure when you consider a list of things to keep away from if you want a pain free life.  To avoid pain:

*Don’t fall in love or commit yourself to someone.

*Don’t become a leader of any kind.

*Don’t give your opinion on anything important.

*Don’t set high standards for yourself or aspire to be the best at anything.

To avoid pain:

*Don’t try to help people, especially those most in need.

*Don’t take risks that may involve making mistakes that others may notice.

*Don’t listen to all the reasons to try something, but take heed of all the reasons not to.

*Don’t have kids, especially ones that grow up to be teenagers.

*And certainly to avoid pain, one should not try to make the world a better place. . .

We all began Lent in the quiet and desolation of the Desert.  Lents ultimate end will be in a garden – where we will discover the tomb is empty.

Between now and then – during this Holy Week, there is a lot of pain. . . but the pain, cannot be avoided.

Motivational speaker, Jim Rohn, once said:  “We will all suffer one of two things, either the pain of discipline, or the pain of regret or disappointment.”

The word discipline comes from the word disciple – which is Latin for pupil – one who follows after.  

Let’s come to our senses – and make the commitment to follow after Jesus – to be his faithful disciples – to endure the pain of discipline — rather than the pain of regret or disappointment.   Because whether we like it or not: there is no pain-free way to the garden of resurrection and new life.

Maybe it’s best for us this week to remember these words of Winston Churchill:  “When you are going through hell, just keep going.” That’s certainly what Jesus did —  as he set all the captives free.