Monday Musings…When the Pain of our Labour Multiplies


Life is hard. Whether we like it or not, we often face hardship and trials of many kinds. We spend significant time trying to figure out why, and even more time lamenting over the relentless challenges upon or ahead of us. In the age of entitlement and perpetual pursuit of pleasure, we fail to remember that labour is a natural and necessary part of life.

Our minds must process and our hands must produce something of value that will allow us to be fed, clothed, and protected from the elements. This doesn’t come easily for most of us. Nor is there always excitement or pleasure in what we must do. Even Tim, from my previous post, has ‘bad days’ as he told me about his wife complaining he wasn’t getting the renovations done fast enough.

Sometimes we work day in and day out and don’t see the fruit of our labour. We wonder what is the point of working so hard when we don’t get the reward we feel we are due, whether it is monetary or merely personal satisfaction. And worse yet, what happens when we are blindsided with unjust criticism of our labour when the facts validate our effort and the work that was produced? It is easy for us to shake our heads and want to give up. We are wired to want to avoid pain and look for the easy way out.

The easy way out…This week our family welcomed out third grandchild. As my daughter laboured for several hours, it was clear there was no easy way out for this not so little baby boy. The minutes began to feel like hours, and the hours felt like days, as she faced this incredible challenge. No anesthetic could mask the relentless pressure within her tiny frame. I’m making an assumption, but I’m sure she was wondering why her labour had to be so hard, when others seem to have it so much easier. But no amount of wondering why could ease the pain or change the course of her delivery. There is no benefit during childbirth to mope over the challenge set before her. As the clock kept ticking, she knew a reward would come but the pain was relentless and momentary relief was seldom felt. And then more challenges presented themselves, exhaustion set in, and she likely wondered how much more she could give to finally push the baby out and into this world that awaited him.

We also wonder, often wonder, especially in the moment, why pain needs to be part of this life. It is very easy to grow faint and weary. But it is with each breath that we regroup and refocus; that even though we may not know the outcome of our labour, and may be blindsided along the way, we shall persevere and finish the individual course set before us. A positive reward may await us, like the birth of a healthy baby boy; or we may never tangibly grasp the reward in this life. Nonetheless, our goal as humans must be to be faithful in the moment. That may not feel like a natural response, but it is necessary.

This week’s song is “Dust in the Wind” by Kansas. Though we came from dust and to dust we shall return, it is the moments in between, though filled with trials and tribulation, which give our existence meaning. Persevere to the end.

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