Getting Ahead: How soon we forget


This morning I was thinking back to my childhood. I started thinking of how bad it hurt when I would stand up under the kitchen table and hit my head. I would grab my head and try not to cry but I usually did. Mom would rub my head and put a cold wet cloth on the injured area while telling me it would soon be better.

If I hit my head real hard a knot would come up. But the thing mom had told me always proved to be true. After awhile the pain went away, the knot went down and everything was back to normal. I would completely forget the pain after it went away. Relatively speaking it was over rather quickly.

Other times I can remember acting up in church, which ended in a painful experience waiting for me when we got home. It seems that pain would wear off by the next time we were in church because I would act up again and face another painful experience when we got home.

There was another time that I fell out of a tree and broke my shoulder. That healing took weeks and it made a greater impact on my life. But just as the knot on my head, or the painful experience after church, it was soon forgotten.

There was a time in my life that I drank heavily. It made my life miserable but when the hangover faded away, I would drink again. It became a cycle of life and soon I was addicted to alcohol.

I have gotten myself into jobs that I thought would never end. I have then made the statement that I will never do that again, only to find myself, at some later time, right back in over my head. I have seemed to have had the ability to forget physical and mental pain all of my life whether it is accidental or self-inflicted.

In my observation of other people, it seems that we all, to some degree, tend to forget the pain we experience in a given situation, and find ourselves in that situation again. Some people repeat their painful actions more than others, but how soon we all can forget.

Why do we do things over and over again that have brought us pain in the past? Can pain be a good thing? Is there yet another type of pain that continues to afflict us? What is in us that makes us forget, or on the other hand, continue to carry pain?

These and other life questions will be addressed Sunday morning as “The Gathering Place Family” meets in the Washington High School gymnasium at 10 a.m. for our Pre-Service Connection where we enjoy coffee, juice and donuts. Our Worship Service and Children’s Church then begins at 10:30. Come at 7 p.m. and be part of our Wednesday night Bible Study and Children’s Ministry on the third floor above Trends at 120 West Court St. in Washington C.H.

By John G. Pfeifer

Religion Columnist

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