Forearm Curls and Broken Souls

I would not call myself an experienced weightlifter. I’ve even started calling the event that I workout as “exercising” instead of “working out.” It seems to be a bit more novice-like.

It is interesting to see how people spend their time in a weight room. One time I saw a fellow who could have spent a bit more time working up a sweat spend 30 minutes doing forearm curls. He would do a set and march over to the water fountain to get a drink after a difficult set of moving his wrists 4 inches 15 times. After 3o minutes of this, he threw in the towel, he was spent, and had a hard time opening any doors for the next 48 hours, I assume.

In his mind, he had a great workout. But an average health professional would’ve recommended him to spend his 3o minutes in more strategic and more helpful ways for his overall health.

This image reminded me of a conversation that I heard from someone while I was at a local caffeinated beverage station. This woman shared about a Bible study that she had just attended and the topic that they discussed. The topic was silly and, in my opinion, probably only marginally related to the Christian faith, life, and overall narrative of Jesus and the empty tomb.

What concerned me, was that, after she talked about her Bible study, she proceeded to talk about how nearly every part of her life was falling apart. She was not at rest with the relationships in her life, things at her home were not going well, and her soul appeared to be filled with calamity.

Her life reminded me of the guy at the gym. She had opened the Bible and sought God, but the practice appeared to be not helping matters. At some point, the dissonance created in this scenario will crush this woman. As she “studies” the Bible and her soul continues to be dismantled, the only logical thing will be to give up on God, heap up self-condemnation on herself, or something in between.

Observation: I think that, in our deepest parts,we know we are broken, but instead of embarking on a journey to have God release it from our lives, we’d rather stay busy to see if it will go away on its own. Or, as crazy as it sounds, sometimes we are tempted to keep the chaos or pain in our lives, because we are used to it and to change (we feel) is more painful than the brokenness itself.

Humans have had a millenia of experience on how to distract ourselves from dealing with pain. Under the Christian canopy, even Bible study can serve as the distraction. The results can be catastrophic. People with unresolved pain and anger, with a Bible open, can be dangerous.

Jesus’s invitation is to come to him and take an easy yoke, where the burden is light, receiving rest for our souls. May we engage His word and find rest.



2 thoughts on “Forearm Curls and Broken Souls

  1. Is it not just strange (yet true) that we must intentionally yeild to the “smooth and easy” yoke of Jesus? We long for smooth and easy, yet if not yeilded, even pressed into, to the twistedness of this world will bring just the opposite. I/m going for the smooth and easy!

  2. Joe your story is interesting to me because it would seem so much easier to throw some dumbbells around for thirty minutes rather than run on a treadmill for thirty minutes. However, the body responds to a thirty minute so much better than tearing your muscles apart making it difficult to lift your arms. God says to follow me and take up the easy yoke. Would that not be doing curls for thirty minutes? A sprint is so much easier than a marathon and so, we need an easy yoke to complete the marathon. If completed, we feel a much greater feeling of accomplishment and completing the sprint.

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