Thursday, April 26, 2018

The Divine Meaning of Pain and Suffering


On Nov 12, 2017, Rob Jones, a marine who lost both his legs, was running 31 marathons in 31 days to raise money for wounded veterans. Rob Jones, who lost his legs in 2010 in an explosion while serving overseas in Afghanistan, was traveling the country to raise money for wounded veteran charities. Despite the traumatic adversity that he had gone through, he hopes his new life journey will be an inspiration to other veterans. “Being a person that has successfully gone to Afghanistan and Iraq, had a traumatic experience, and now reintegrated into society, I am an example and want to show I've succeeded being a wounded but not a broken veteran.” Not being “broken” is a rite of passage to a new meaning of life for Jones.

Rob Jones sets an excellent example to show how one can learn from one’s pain and suffering. The most valuable lesson is awakening from the illusion that this physical life with its adversity and pain will go on forever. This awakening may help one re-discover one’s connection to others and, more importantly, to God, and hence may deepen the meaning of life, as well as one’s relationship with God.

Remember, if your life has a positive meaning, then human pain must also have its meaning for your body, mind, and spirit. You just have to look for its meaning.

Adversity is part and parcel of life. Adversity comes in different phases of life; it only becomes more intense and challenging as aging continues, causing more unhappiness. Adversity is like rites of passage, which come in three stages: the separation stage in which you feel separated from your comfort zone; the confusion stage in which you find yourself in no-man’s-land, at a loss of not knowing what to do next; and the transformation stage, in which you may initiate the life changes to cope with the adversity.

Stephen Lau
Copyright©2018 by Stephen Lau

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