Pleasure And Pain–Is There A Difference?

John was out of town, and three of my sons-in-law were at a college soccer game.

Which left my daughter and me with five kids. Dinnertime.

Not feeling in the mood to cook–I’m not sure I ever feel in that mood anymore–we decided to take the kids to Chick-fil-A.

Family Night. A master of balloon art and magician would be present.

We corraled the kids in two cars–four car seats were needed. We arrived, found a table right in front of the balloon creator, and tried to sit everyone down so we could order food.

Enter the Chick-fil-A cow.

Chick-fil-A has built its brand on self-protecting cows encouraging everyone to eat chicken. The cows are winsome, wise, and quite often funny. Their logic is rather self-serving.

I love the cow. I’ve purchased calendars with a variety of cow figures dressed in costumes.

Our under two grands weren’t as accepting. They were terrified of the upright black and white bovine. And all the cow wanted to do was high-five them.

They wanted nothing to do with him.

I was holding one, and as the cow approached, he had a death grip on my neck.

Scared children are very strong.

We did everything to distract the kids. We turned high chairs around as the cow made his way through the restaurant. We got them ice cream, even though they didn’t eat dinner.

The cow kept showing up. Always within view of the two little guys.

Weeping and wailing would ensue.

It was comical. They’d be savoring ice cream one moment, fingers dug into cones, having tired of licking. The next they’re ready to throw the cones out of fear because the cow didn’t get the point. He was always right there.

Maybe he felt he could win them over if he persisted.


We took them into the play area so they could climb the platforms and use the slide. I actually got up most of the way just to help them get to the slide level.

When we came out, there was the cow.

Fear causes a unique sense of panic, even in situations where joy has been experienced. Was the boys’ fear irrational? Yes. But it was very real.

To them.

So many times in life I have the desire to do something I enjoy, and yet it strikes fear into my heart.

Because I’m afraid to fail.

Every time I write this blog, I have this thrill of putting my stories and thoughts out there, a little bit of me. But hitting the “publish” button is scary because I can’t manage anyone’s response to what I’ve written.

My two little grands were terrified of something they hadn’t encountered before and had no control over. Their place of pleasure became an uncomfortable place of fear.

God knows our desires and dreams. He is with His own as we pursue the extent of our imaginations, trying what seems impossible, experiencing our defeat and failure with compassion, and standing with us as we pick ourselves back up.

He never abandons us nor is overwhelmed by our fears or doubts. He stays the course with us.

He’s way more persistent than the Chick-fil-A cow.



4 responses to “Pleasure And Pain–Is There A Difference?”

  1. This made me laugh, then it made me think. Thanks for the reminder of my own death grip on God.


    1. Thanks for the encouragement, Kev. Holding fast to Him is the only way I can ever let go of what seems always so dadgum important here and now.


  2. funny and poignant all the the same time!!


    1. You are very kind, my friend. I truly appreciate the encouragement.

      Liked by 1 person

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