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(PHOTO from Chris Lopez)

I may be addicted to working out. Not the running part (Actually, I hate the running part.) but the lifting weights part. I am amazed how much lifting weights relieves my stress and anxiety. I need some form of aggression release and weight lifting is it.

And for the record, I’m not one of those guys who stand in front of the mirror and do curls for 45 minutes. Since I know you’re curious, I do a modified version of this workout regimen. The exercises I do are not enjoyable. Squats, military presses, and dead lifts all in the same sequence forces you to focus (Sometimes throw up).

I have been known to hold in my anger, sadness, and grief until there is nowhere for it to go but out. And pushing my body to do things that it doesn’t want to do, I find euphoric. For that 45-60 minutes, nothing else matters.

But what I anticipate the most is the day after a workout. The next day, almost exactly 24 hours later, I hope to be sore. I mean like beat up sore.  The soreness is like my new caffeine. My crack (not buttocks although it hurts too). The soreness is proof. Proof, that I worked out legitimately. If I am not sore the next day, than I make the workout more difficult by adding weight or repetitions.

Eventually, I get stronger.

In the same manner, I am attempting to approach God and the Bible. I want my conversation with God leaving me sore. I need to know that I could have done better yesterday. I want the bible to make me realize that I need God more. I need to know that I don’t know enough.

If following these interactions I am the same as before they started, then I didn’t push myself hard enough. So I pray longer. I pray more honestly. I listen as intently as possible. And I realize God is greater. I read deeper. I read until I get kicked in the gut. I read until I notice that I suck. And I realize God is greater.

Eventually, I get stronger.

This makes me think of the armor of God…if only we would put on the whole armor and not just what we are comfortable with we would have incredible power…power of the Holy Spirit.

Ephesians 6:10-17

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place,15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.