This is a photo of “Agony-Misery Hills” at the military reservation at Fort Knox, Kentucky. This is where I trained with the 3rd Armored Division before going to Germany. I was in the Armored Infantry, and we know what infantry means. We marched out to the training areas and this is the route we took going out and coming in. Some days we were lucky and were transported by trucks.
This picture looks pretty rough, but in reality it is worse–especially when marching. Even the vehicles needed to shift to the lower gears to make it to the top of these grades. “Agony Hill” was the hill we marched down to get to the training area. It wasn’t too bad when we were fresh. We had to march up “Misery Hill” on our way back to our company area after training all day. It wouldn’t be a very miserable walk for a Sunday stroll with shorts, t-shirt, and walking shoes, but with rifles and other various pieces of equipment it was not a pleasant journey. Some times we were even “allowed” to jog up “Misery.” I can tell you this–it was appropriately named.
While I was at Fort Knox, I started running. There was a 2 mile cross-country course that was truly cross-country. There wasn’t a flat area on the course. It started at the top of “Misery” and came around the mountain on a ledge, through a creek bottom, and then angled back to the top. There was one section that contained an obstacle course. It was great for staying in top condition.
I never thought about it until this morning but I recall the old saying: “Misery loves company.” Maybe that’s why they named the other hill “Agony.” As I look back on those times it really wasn’t bad…not now!
So, what is the moral of this story? It could be many things. I know that on top of the mountain (company barracks) we felt pretty safe and secure. As we moved from this safety, we suffered a little “agony” as we went out into the boondocks for training. Before we could return to safety, it was necessary to suffer a little “misery.” Maybe that is what happens when we leave the safety of the mountain top with God and go out into the world. That is where we receive our training to deal with the dangers we will face throughout our lives. The main thing to remember is to remain focused on the mountain top and never forget that God is faithful in His Promise to never leave us. It is when we leave Him that “agony and misery” come into our lives.
If you have other thoughts about “agony & misery,” I would welcome a response.
Update: Please read “AGONY – MISERY UPDATE” also.