Joy Costs Pain

I'm on a journey right now. If I were honest, or more aware, I'd realize that I'm actually always on a journey because life is nuts and unpredictable, but right now it's perfectly clear to me that I'm on a journey. In my physical body I've been placed in an RV with nine other human bodies to travel across the United States on a musical tour, but so many others sub-plots are occurring within these physical shells and oversized metal container on wheels. Along with these ten bodies come ten souls and ten different destinies that God has laid out before us. Some of us left our homes thinking that we were going on a 3-month road trip speckled with concert dates, and others had expectations that it would be a crazy adventure. Both perspectives were accurate from the get-go, but limited in their scope of bringing into consideration the many uncontrollable factors like road conditions, relational squabbles, financial shortcomings, and insecurities magnified under the constant gaze of 18 ever-seeing eyes. We're learning how to have adventure, but we're having an adventure, so maybe learning is the adventure. All I know is that we didn't step on the bus and magically enter into a world of excitement, wonder and awe. Why? Well I think it's because unless we were that way in our normal lives pre-tour then we couldn't expect that we'd morph into adventure-mongerers with the sudden presence of a recreational vehicle.
I just finished reading a book called "A Thousand Miles in a Million Years" by Donald Miller. I would like to tell you all about the book, highlight its major themes and share excerpts straight from the text, but that's not my job and I don't have the time, so I'll simply recommend that you read it for yourself. I will however share this very simple line from the book that reads "joy costs pain". Rarely will a line so short leave such a profound impact on my mind and soul, but that line is worth a million dollars. Within the context of this tour and its unpredictable drama I have learned to see that there is joy that comes with the pain of living, learning and growing. Every time we come up against a wall with one another or with the road of life we wade through some mucky ponds of pain. Much of our pain is not caused by one another, but is instead past hurts resurfacing as a result of exhaustion, stress, and living in close quarters with nine other people. These pains take different forms from person to person, but we all feel it whether we want to or not because energy and moods are infectious and unavoidable when you're living in a mobile hallway. "Joy costs pain" has been coming back into my thoughts every time I'm feeling the burdens of others or the weight of living on my shoulders. I'm no martyr, nor am I a saint, and the small pains that I'm experiencing out here on the road are minor, and relatively microscopic in comparison to the pain many others in this world have seen. However, I've learned to view my pain differently now. My pain is evidence of my growing up. I'm growing up spiritually, relationally, emotionally, and psychologically. I'm excited about the fact that I'm coming up against so much crap on this trip because it's making me stronger and I know that there's going to be joy at the end of this tunnel.
I've passed this Donald Miller book on to some others on the trip as it was passed on to me by Adam Cappa first, so I hope that by the end of this adventure all of us will find a new perspective to view our pain from. I hope that we'll embrace challenges and not cower away from them like pansies. Hopefully when we get back home you'll see us all as being a little bit more grown up and a little more joyful about the pain we've had shape us into better human beings.

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