Don’t Skip Leg Day
The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to his servants the things that must soon take place. Revelation 1:1
Even though I left college sports long ago, I’ve usually spent some time every week of my adult life in the gym, lifting weights. To be honest though, I never liked squats. So, for years, I’d skip leg day. Instead, I’d do pull-ups and bench press. When I started CrossFit at age 43 then, which involves a lot of lifting with the legs, I had a problem. I was weak in the legs. Now, I don’t skip leg day. I know I need it and even though it’s hard and sometimes unpleasant work, I also know how it pays off in the end. Often, I must do the things I don’t want to do to get me where I want to go.
Honestly, I feel similarly about the book of Revelation. Some of you who follow the blog know that it’s been approaching and have expressed interest in getting here. I’ve not been looking forward to it though. If there was a book of the Bible I would skip – like leg day – it would be Revelation. It’s a difficult book, most of which I don’t understand. When I was a kid, the apocalypse and seven-headed dragons were fascinating, but now I just don’t get it and I don’t find it very applicable to my life. So, I want to skip it.
There’s a bigger issue here than just the book of Revelation of course – that of picking and choosing. Neither the Bible nor God’s instructions to us are part of a buffet from which I can pick and choose. If I truly believe in a transcendent God, there are going to be some things he expects of me which I don’t enjoy very much. I don’t get to keep the parts in the Bible about love, grace, and mercy without also accepting the parts about sin, truth, and discipline.
This isn’t easy. We have countless church denominations because we don’t all agree on exactly what the Bible says. Additionally, there are a lot of Old Testament instructions to which we don’t adhere anymore (Leviticus 5:5-6). If we believe in the Bible at all, this is a problem we’ll all face. What parts to do we follow, and which ones don’t we follow? Each of us will have to work through this, but I’d suggest that we can’t base our beliefs simply on what we like and don’t like. Sometimes, we must embrace the uncomfortable if we’re to get to where we want to go – just like leg day. So, we’re starting the book of Revelation . . . First though, I’m going to the gym. It’s leg day.