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Many of us are living uncomfortable lives, filled with pain and hurt. Each of us has been in those places to one degree or another. And the inclination is to think that no one knows the trouble I am in and my trouble is much worse than most.

I liken it to living up to my neck in a pool of polluted water. The temptation is to hope no one makes waves. And if others can tell me how rough I have it, I get a bit of consolation. May the day be calm.

Many times such consolation does no more than keep me in place. And the reality is I can get plenty used to where I am. It becomes my normal. But there is an alternative.

Climb out.

I will slip. It will be messy. But I do not have to settle where I am.

Be mindful of settling, of getting by. There is more to life. Believe in what you have within, because it is there.

Jon Heydenreich is pastor at Brattleboro’s Trinity Lutheran Church.