“No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.”
Last week, the United States celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the Occupational Safety and Health Act. I have worked with, and around OSHA my entire career and had you asked me how long it had been around, I would have guessed since the early to mid 1900’s. Well, do the math and you will see that OSHA was only formed in 1971. That means for 195 years of our country there wasn’t oversight of safety and hazards on the job. Now, I know there are some who are reading this and likely thinking, “Imagine how much easier it was to do business before OSHA”. That’s okay to think that, but likely none of us thinking that had to work under pre-OSHA requirements in occupations where our lives were at risk every day. My first exposure to OSHA was when I was a welder in the summers of college (early 80’s…only a decade or so into OSHA). I remember some dangerous situations and some accidents that happened to others that I’d rather forget. The one that sticks out was the toppling of a crane that killed the operator. The final determination was that someone had cut a safety corner, which resulted in a large fine from OSHA and more stringent precautions in the future. I remember that incident because I could see that without the regulations, that the same accident would have likely happened again and again. We are humans and we are expected to be overly productive and sometimes without boundaries we will push ourselves and machines to a place where we put ourselves and others in danger. It’s in our makeup and like in our lives when we were being parented, some boundaries, some rules, some consequences turned out to be good for us in the long run. We might have hated those actions then, but years later, we have come to appreciate that discipline was what we needed.
The Bible says it just like it is, “No discipline is enjoyable when it is happening.” But, we know that discipline can be good for us, if we only accept that it can make us stronger, keep us safer, and build our character for what the future might throw at us. We might be in a season of disciplining right now, or it probably feels like we are, so let’s look past the pain or lack of enjoyment and look for the good that can come from the readiness and preparation. Sometimes, it is the discipline that brings out the best in us.
Reference: Hebrews 12:11 (New Living Translation)