Honestly, I’m not sure what inspired the title to this post, except for that it’s the name of the song I’m listening to right now (“Worth the Pain” by Disciple). Over the past two weeks I have traveled across 4 time zones twice, and well over 5000 miles back and forth across the U.S. As my brother and I crossed Iowa, Nebraska, Colorado, and Wyoming in the dark of the night, it became apparent that perhaps we might really be insane. A lot of people have taken the time to inform me of that fact in the past–it just wasn’t quite as clear until our 2500 Dodge Cummins Turbo Diesel was the only vehicle on I-80 for as far as we could see for miles, and miles, and miles.
I suppose you’re probably asking the same question I was at about 4 a.m. on December 26th: “Is it worth it?” At that moment, doing my very best to avoid nodding off at the wheel despite my the I.V. full of Red Bull pumping directly into my bloodstream (ok, maybe not), I wasn’t so sure. Six hours later, after arriving safely at the home of wonderful adopted family in Salt Lake City, Utah, I knew that it was definitely worth the drive.
It is incredible how quickly our perspective changes. As I walked into the Roanoke airport this afternoon, I entered hoping to get an earlier flight to Fort Wayne, so I could get home tonight instead of tomorrow afternoon. I was excited at the possibility, knowing there was a flight scheduled for this evening. Two minutes later, my perspective changed. The flight had just been canceled, so I was once again embracing the mindset of a traveler ready to be home and stuck in a stupid airport once again. Not thirty minutes later, my perspective changed yet again. No longer was I having a depressing birthday full of stupid airports, stupid hotels, and stupid people. In that short time, my dream of going to Papua New Guinea to teach at the start of the 2012-2013 school year had began to be a reality as a timeline had been laid out for me by a representative from New Tribes Missions. All within two hours, I had taken an emotional roller coaster completely dependent on my perspective.
As a college student that is working full time just to try and stay ahead of tuition fees, it doesn’t always seem like it is worth it. There are days when all I want to do is get away. Yet, after traveling for two weeks, sometimes all I want to do is get home. It is imperative that I not measure the cost by the immediate gratification which has been so glorified by our culture. if I am going to answer the question of whether a life surrendered to Jesus Christ is “worth the pain,” then I need to set my eyes on eternity.
When my eyes are on the cross, there is no answer but “yes.”
It is worth the pain.
Christ endured so much more pain for me, a sinner.