We hear often in our Gamblers Anonymous meetings that pain is the touchstone of spiritual progress. We eventually realize that, just as the pains of compulsive gambling had to come before our abstinence, emotional turmoil comes before serenity. We no longer commiserate with all people who suffer, but only with those who suffer in ignorance—those who don’t understand the purpose and ultimate utility of pain. In Proust’s words, To goodness and wisdom we make only promises; pain we obey.

Do I believe that pain is God’s way of trying to get my attention?

Today I Pray

May I understand the value of pain in my life, especially if I am headed breakneck down a track of self-destruction. May I know that pain is God’s way of flagging down the train I’m on before it gets to a bridge wash-out. May I be thankful that pain forced me to throw the switch in time.

Today I Will Remember

Pain saves lives.