A few years back at my church, one of the Pastors put a challenge out to the members of the congregation to read one chapter a day of the New Testament. Well, after finishing the New Testament, I flipped my Bible back and started over in the Old Testament.
Continuing on with this habit into the New Year, I am now into the book of Leviticus. I just finished chapter six to be exact. My reading has involved things like the Law of Guilt Offerings, Sin Offerings and Peace Offerings. Now, I have to be honest here. I love my God and I love reading his Word. Most of the time. Leviticus though….it’s a hard read. More than once in the process of reading those first six chapters I found myself thinking “Do I really need to read this part?” “Do I really need to know any of this?” “How is knowing where the blood of whatever different sacrifice is sprinkled going to get me any closer to my God?” I even flipped forward a little to see how long this went on. It doesn’t look like it’s getting better any time soon. Well the truth is that any time spent in his Word is beneficial. I am sure someone with a better knowledge of the context of all those laws could reveal a deeper, more impactful meaning behind all of it. Me…I’m not there yet.
However, I do believe God taught something valuable. I learned a lesson that resonates in my spiritual life, my pursuit of fitness, and life in general. As I was having these thoughts I remembered a conversation I had with a colleague about being willing to submit to the grind. You see most of us don’t want to do that. We don’t want to do the dirty work necessary to get where we want to go. Yeah, everyone wants to be fit. But are you willing to do the work necessary to get there? Are you willing to get up early to work out because that is the only time your schedule and packed family life will permit? Are you willing to do those big imposing multi-joint exercises like squats or deadlifts that leave you spent? Or would you rather just take it easy and do some leg extensions and leg curls and then wonder aloud why you can’t lose body fat or gain muscle? Are you willing to fill your diet up with green stuff that actually grew from the earth? Or will you go on eating flour and sugar concoctions that won’t do anything but move you away from your fitness goals. Are you willing to choke down protein in the morning even though you are sure your body will revolt if you eat breakfast? (Here’s a hint: It won’t so get over it and eat some protein. I say that with all the love I have in me.)
What I learned in reading Leviticus is that the grind is crucial. The grind leads us to important revelations and new heights that we wouldn’t hit otherwise. I hate using a foam roller. Let’s just say it’s not comfortable. But doing it on a regular basis keeps me mobile and that allows me to perform better in my workouts. Continuing to read Leviticus (and let’s be honest, I wanted to stop after the first chapter) lead me to this realization and as a result I will continue to push through. And I’ll do so knowing that God has something important he wants to share with me somewhere down the road. I am betting it will be something I would have missed had I just skipped ahead to the parts that looked like an easier read.