July Blog Post

I try to frequent the gym three times a week to keep this aging body in any shape other than

round, if you know what I mean. The older I get the more difficult that becomes!

One rule of the weight room that is frequently ignored is to have a spotter if you’re going to

attempt any kind of heavier lifting. Heavier being relative for us all as to what we can handle,

but nonetheless to know your limitations is wise. Having a spotter is a safe and wise endeavor.

I know this rule. I know it well. The times I have witnessed individual’s faces turning all sorts of

previously unknown shades of purple are numerous. The look of fear and anxiety meeting with

reality sweeping across their face is exceptionally humorous only to be put on hold to race

across the gym and alleviate their unforgiving iron burden from their chest. It’s funny…until it

happens to you.

My routine/exercises consists of pushing the body to the point of muscle fatigue; that is, I go

until my body can’t push/pull any more. It keeps your heart rate up, builds muscle/strength and

boosts your metabolism. The other day I was finishing up my routine on the bench press. I

typically do 3 sets with 30 seconds rest in between each set, first set beginning with 10 reps and

going until failure on the next 2. My personal goal is to always get 10 reps on that last set; if

you’re going to put the time in, it might as well be to the maximum benefit, right? So if I only

get say 6 reps on my third and final set, I’ll rest for 10 seconds and try to get as many as I can

until I reach the total amount of 10. Anyway, my last set I was only able to press out 6. No

problem; 10 seconds and back at it. 2 more followed by 10 more seconds rest. I only needed 2

more for 10. Problem was I felt my strength quickly diminishing on the previous 2. Maybe rest a

little longer? Nah, that’s for sissies. Bar down to my chest and back up…9….9 ¼…9 ½…9 ¾…and

then somebody set a washing machine on the bar. My strength was gone. Nothing left to give.

No mas. Done. Kaput. Problem was, that bar with the help of the law of gravity was slowly

descending towards my chest. Try as I might, I could do nothing to slow its

descent…right…on…top…of…my…chest. Another new shade of purple began to reveal itself on

my face. “OK, I got this” I told myself. “Focus and explode upwards with the weight.” No dice.

Not happening. As I was coming to grips with my embarrassing situation, I figured I would try to

sit up and roll the weight towards my waist. Then I could stand up and lift the weight to the

floor. Uh-uh. Not happening. My only option was to tilt the bar in one direction until the plates

on one side fell off, but I knew from past observations that has loud and disastrous

consequences. You have no strength left and when the weight leaves one side of that bar, the

other side with the remaining weight tends to act as a catapult. Nobody around in the gym that

early in the morning except those, ahem, more seniored individuals riding their stationary bikes

facing the wall. As visions of my tombstone epithet ran through my mind, I caught a glimpse of

someone walking within ear shot and politely and calmy as I could said, “Excuse me sir? Could I

get a little help please?” We shall say he was considerably “senior” than myself and as he

approached my position, he asked “What should I do?” NOT the words of confidence I was

looking for. Right about that time another individual whom I was considerably “senior” to

rushed over and grabbed the other side of the barbell and began to lift. “What he’s doing!” I

said as calmy as possible. Ah, oxygen. Whew. “Kept telling myself I had one more rep. One

more rep. Guess I didn’t have one more rep” I told my rescuers. I thanked them both and

quickly moved to another exercise to get this most embarrassing moment behind me.

But then I began to think of my less than envious position I had been in: isn’t that what we do in

our spiritual walk? We think we have everything under control; we’ve been down this

road/situation before whatever it may be; we know what to do, how to handle it, etc. until

suddenly we find ourselves under an extreme amount of weight that we can no longer bare on

our own. The weight is slowly descending on us to the point it begins squeezing the life out of

us and then, in desperation, we cry out to the Lord for help. We know better; we know we’re

weaker than we give ourselves credit for, yet stubbornly we lift that burden and continue trying

to carry it ourselves when we don’t have to. God has said in His word, “Come to Me all you who

labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me,

for I am gentle and lowly in heart and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and

my burden is light.” (Matt. 11:28-30).

Look at all the promises and invitations God issues here: 1.) Come to Me 2.) All who are

burdened 3.) I will give you rest 4.) Learn from Me 5.) I am gentle and lowly 6.) You will find rest

7.) My yoke (way and purposes) are much easier than bearing it yourself.

Next time you go to lift that burden, don’t. Let God do your lifting for you. If you’re struggling

with the weight of life, call out to Him. When you think you’ve got everything under control,

you better look for that spiritual spotter. Trust me, you’re gonna’ need Him.I try to frequent the gym three times a week to keep this aging body in any shape other than

round, if you know what I mean. The older I get the more difficult that becomes!

One rule of the weight room that is frequently ignored is to have a spotter if you’re going to

attempt any kind of heavier lifting. Heavier being relative for us all as to what we can handle,

but nonetheless to know your limitations is wise. Having a spotter is a safe and wise endeavor.

I know this rule. I know it well. The times I have witnessed individual’s faces turning all sorts of

previously unknown shades of purple are numerous. The look of fear and anxiety meeting with

reality sweeping across their face is exceptionally humorous only to be put on hold to race

across the gym and alleviate their unforgiving iron burden from their chest. It’s funny…until it

happens to you.

My routine/exercises consists of pushing the body to the point of muscle fatigue; that is, I go

until my body can’t push/pull any more. It keeps your heart rate up, builds muscle/strength and

boosts your metabolism. The other day I was finishing up my routine on the bench press. I

typically do 3 sets with 30 seconds rest in between each set, first set beginning with 10 reps and

going until failure on the next 2. My personal goal is to always get 10 reps on that last set; if

you’re going to put the time in, it might as well be to the maximum benefit, right? So if I only

get say 6 reps on my third and final set, I’ll rest for 10 seconds and try to get as many as I can

until I reach the total amount of 10. Anyway, my last set I was only able to press out 6. No

problem; 10 seconds and back at it. 2 more followed by 10 more seconds rest. I only needed 2

more for 10. Problem was I felt my strength quickly diminishing on the previous 2. Maybe rest a

little longer? Nah, that’s for sissies. Bar down to my chest and back up…9….9 ¼…9 ½…9 ¾…and

then somebody set a washing machine on the bar. My strength was gone. Nothing left to give.

No mas. Done. Kaput. Problem was, that bar with the help of the law of gravity was slowly

descending towards my chest. Try as I might, I could do nothing to slow its

descent…right…on…top…of…my…chest. Another new shade of purple began to reveal itself on

my face. “OK, I got this” I told myself. “Focus and explode upwards with the weight.” No dice.

Not happening. As I was coming to grips with my embarrassing situation, I figured I would try to

sit up and roll the weight towards my waist. Then I could stand up and lift the weight to the

floor. Uh-uh. Not happening. My only option was to tilt the bar in one direction until the plates

on one side fell off, but I knew from past observations that has loud and disastrous

consequences. You have no strength left and when the weight leaves one side of that bar, the

other side with the remaining weight tends to act as a catapult. Nobody around in the gym that

early in the morning except those, ahem, more seniored individuals riding their stationary bikes

facing the wall. As visions of my tombstone epithet ran through my mind, I caught a glimpse of

someone walking within ear shot and politely and calmy as I could said, “Excuse me sir? Could I

get a little help please?” We shall say he was considerably “senior” than myself and as he

approached my position, he asked “What should I do?” NOT the words of confidence I was

looking for. Right about that time another individual whom I was considerably “senior” to

rushed over and grabbed the other side of the barbell and began to lift. “What he’s doing!” I

said as calmy as possible. Ah, oxygen. Whew. “Kept telling myself I had one more rep. One

more rep. Guess I didn’t have one more rep” I told my rescuers. I thanked them both and

quickly moved to another exercise to get this most embarrassing moment behind me.

But then I began to think of my less than envious position I had been in: isn’t that what we do in

our spiritual walk? We think we have everything under control; we’ve been down this

road/situation before whatever it may be; we know what to do, how to handle it, etc. until

suddenly we find ourselves under an extreme amount of weight that we can no longer bare on

our own. The weight is slowly descending on us to the point it begins squeezing the life out of

us and then, in desperation, we cry out to the Lord for help. We know better; we know we’re

weaker than we give ourselves credit for, yet stubbornly we lift that burden and continue trying

to carry it ourselves when we don’t have to. God has said in His word, “Come to Me all you who

labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me,

for I am gentle and lowly in heart and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and

my burden is light.” (Matt. 11:28-30).

Look at all the promises and invitations God issues here: 1.) Come to Me 2.) All who are

burdened 3.) I will give you rest 4.) Learn from Me 5.) I am gentle and lowly 6.) You will find rest

7.) My yoke (way and purposes) are much easier than bearing it yourself.

Next time you go to lift that burden, don’t. Let God do your lifting for you. If you’re struggling

with the weight of life, call out to Him. When you think you’ve got everything under control,

you better look for that spiritual spotter. Trust me, you’re gonna’ need Him.

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