July 14

It’s Just Information

July 14, 2017

Personal Growth

On many occasions, I have spoken about the necessity of inconvenience, mistakes, and even pain in the process of learning. See the Master Index for more about these subjects. It is simply not possible to learn and grow without making mistakes. We can’t learn to play the piano well without occasionally—often, usually—hitting the wrong notes. We can’t learn to hit a ball with a bat without missing the ball many times.

We can choose either to resent pain and focus on its banishment, or to learn from it. Pain is INFORMATION. When we experience pain, it means—among many other things—that something is wrong. With physical pain, perhaps our bodies are telling us about a malfunction or disorder. With emotional or spiritual pain, we might be experiencing the discomfort of being outside the flow of the power of the Universe. We might be experiencing the pain of withdrawing from the presence of God. What purpose could all this pain serve?

When airplanes land, they have many ways to show them that they’re on course. (A) The guy in the air traffic control center talks to them. (B) There are lights at the beginning of the runway that light up in a certain pattern, according to whether the plane is descending correctly, too steeply, or too shallowly. (C) There are lights on the side of the runway, to indicate whether the plane is on course or is too far to the right or left.

All pilots regard these indicators as enormously useful—even life saving—guides. But what if a pilot decided that all this guidance was controlling, critical, or mocking? Then the pilot would do whatever he wanted, and within a few landings its likely that he and his passengers would be dead.

Similarly, our mistakes tell us that we’re off course. God speaks to us to communicate that we’re on course. Or we feel a painful distance from Him when the guiding lights naturally fade as we turn away from them.

Mistakes and pain are information. If we pay attention to that information, the mistakes become fewer, our strength increases, and the pain diminishes. Knowing this can change our perception of pain entirely.

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