We’re celebrating National Heroes’ Day here in the Philippines and I thought it was additional motivation for me to start the Iron Wolf September 2022 Challenge. For today, the data sheet calls for 35 3-pump (a pump is a pushup) burpees, then 35 4-pump burpees, then 35 5-pump burpees and 35 6-pump burpees. The sheet then says, ’35 7-pump burpees * 2 squat chaser”, then you top all of this off with the standard 100 1-pump burpees.
First thoughts as I was going through all this – I burned through 15 3-pump burpees like I was doing this for a long time, but it became evident too quickly that I’ve been away from this game for too damn long. I found myself doing 10, then 5 burpees at a time, because I started to feel weak in my arms. Eventually I tried doing things to increase the number of burpees I would do in each round – I asked myself (and my phone, which was recording all this), were the 2 squats ONLY after the 7 pump burpees, or were they for after EVERY burpee? I was resting in between rounds and making computations as to how many squats I would have to do total – 35×5 multi-pump burpees is 175 burpees x2 squats per burpee would be 350 squats.
Honestly, I couldn’t compute straight in between rounds – it’s only now as I recount what’s been going on so far that I’m able to put the numbers in. Guess my brain is getting a workout too. Anyway, I was making these computations long after my first burpee – I think it was around the 10th or the 15th 5-pump burpee that I was thinking of not only matching every burpee, but instead matching every pump/pushup with a squat. This would bring me back up to speed to make up for any squats I was supposed to do when I started up until that point.
Besides, I wanted to do the squats, if only to have that much more rest in between burpees.
Am I done? Nope. I’m up to my 7th 6-pump burpee. I thought I could finish everything in one go, but here I am, resting, and getting this done – maybe after I type I’ll jump back in, but well, it couldn’t be helped – I needed to rest.
As today is a holiday for us, Mom thought it was a good idea to have relatives come over for them to continue what she wanted to establish as a tradition, I guess – that is, to hold Bible studies for her side of the family, at least once a month. If I wasn’t sick, it was Mom who was sick, or nobody was present to prepare/host for the past couple of months, so these gatherings (on top of my workouts) were out of the picture for a significant amount of time.
We actually have a couple of visitors already downstairs. One is uncle Tom, who my Mom asked to talk on what I (sarcastically) thought was the absolutely most ideal topic to talk about – the Rapture. I mean, sure, it’s important, but if you’ve been following me for some time now, I may talk about this topic or that, but we always bring it back to Christ and His finished work. If I know the way my Mom and uncle Tom’s minds work, I think there’s still some programming in them which will have my unfortunate nephews and nieces saying (really more of dictating) the Sinner’s Prayer yet again, as they listen to unnecessary emphasis on us being ‘ready’, when we know all along that it all starts and ends with us knowing that Christ is the living ‘readiness’ that gives us peace even during these times.
Yes, I’m not very enthusiastic about today. But, with God’s help, I’m not about to be the mocker or the serpent in the grass sowing discord while they hold the event together. I guess that’s why I want to write right here and right now, just so I preach to myself and fill myself with life, much so that it just bursts out of me without any efforts to put them into words.
I mean, if I could talk to them right now I’d say, go ahead and talk about your thoughts about the rapture. It’s in the future. You may not necessarily know the precise events and the details, so all you can say is speculation – but precision shouldn’t really be your priority in the first place, no? I only wish that you not only get the attention of my nephews and nieces, but as soon as you do, I hope you say what you need to say, only to build up to pointing them to where we ought to place our trust in the first place – again, Christ, and His finished work. Not, ‘be ready’, but ‘it is finished.’
Speaking of ‘it is finished’ there’s that ‘mystery of faith’ we like to recite in the Anglican and Catholic masses I’ve been since I was a child, one of the first things I would remember from those services – we say, as part of what they call Eucharistic Prayers: “Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again’. I like it. I’d still say it. But I suppose, in our meditation of this ‘mystery’, we can also say something that encompasses the entire Scripture, as contained in God’s own words: ‘It is good, It is finished, It is done.’
I just ran down because I realized the acoustic guitar that they use for pre-message worship was here in my room. I quickly tuned it and brought it downstairs, and my uncle… well, to my surprise, he asked me to explain for myself what Mom wrote down as what I’m calling her ‘endtimes map’, and he opened up that he wasn’t really sure about what to say. I took that opportunity to tell him that sure, all this discussion is useful, but it’s only going to be of worth when you bring back the focus on Christ and His finished work.
Then I quickly ran back here. I guess I’m not a very good host – yet. But things are looking up, I suppose. Turns out that uncle Tom and I have a little more in common theologically, more than I expected, anyway.
Okay so I stepped away from Evernote and I’m now up to my 4th 7-pump burpee. There are more visitors downstairs and I know I should be there, but I know I should probably finish this so I wouldn’t have it on my mind later today. It’s exhausting and I’m pretty sure I’ll be cutting down the number of rounds or reps.
Let me just finish with that previously mentioned ‘supplement’ to that mystery of faith.
In the beginning God spoke light into existence. He created the boundaries of the waters; The earth, the sky, the stars and the sun and the moon all came into being according to his specifications. On the earth He created the trees and the animals, and, as if to sign off on each stage of creation, He would see what was made and He would see that it is good.
But the goodness was not to last, for as soon as Adam and Eve gave in to the temptations of the serpent, and as soon as they bit and ate of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil, they essentially lost all fellowship with God. It’s said that God warned them that they would die, but I believe the direct consequence of the disobedience was disconnection – and death was the only destiny for anyone or anything disconnected from Life. And while I’m at it I believe that as Adam and Eve were given authority over the rest of creation, so the disconnection and consequent death cascaded to the rest of creation.
Obviously this is all speculation, and I most definitely can be wrong, but I say all this only to paint a picture of just how hopeless we were, and it was all because of one man’s disobedience…
…but in saying all this I also emphasize the value of what was to come. For in the fullness of time, Christ, the only Son of God, would be born as a man, and He would grow in favor of God and man, eventually setting off to proclaim that man should repent, for the kingdom of God is near. Christ had an agenda in line with His Father’s will – that is, for none to perish, but for all to come to repentance. He most certainly brought people to change their minds through His words and His wisdom, as well as His works and His miracles… but none of this comes close to His commitment; That is, not only to tell people of a God who loves them as a Father, but to demonstrate just how everlasting His love was and is.
At any other time Christ could have said that He had fulfilled His mission, but it was ONLY at the cross, where His body was nailed – it was only when He lay down His life that He said, ‘It is finished’.
What was finished? Christ’s not only taking of sin, but BECOMING the sin we were, and therefore taking all the death that we deserved – that was finished. Christ’s righteousness being imparted upon us, just as the cleanliness of the sacrifice was transferred to the people, that we who would believe would not only receive but BE righteous, and therefore brought into life – and only just any life, but life ETERNAL – that was finished.
And anyone and everyone who has come to this liberating renewing of their minds can certainly write a much longer list of things that were ‘finished’ right after that… I know I can come up with my own list, but I believe another thing that was finished was the total casting out of fear – and fear of what may happen in the future, to be precise.
For I know that there are ways for us to imagine how things may unfold at the end of time, but we draw our peace and confidence from the fact, the TRUTH; beyond all our speculations, beyond all our limited thinking, I believe it is only by God’s grace that we can see far enough into the future to know that Christ reigns supreme. We were brought into a definitely finite state at the fall, and by Christ’s finished work, we have been reconciled, absolutely and completely; Brought back to the infinite and everlasting embrace of our Creator, whom we call, ‘Abba, Father’. In my opinion it is merely a matter of time for the Creator of Time – the One who at creation called all things good, the One who at the cross said ‘it is finished’ – it is only a matter of time before the infinite and everlasting Lord brings all things into fullness, and then He would say, ‘it is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega.’
Sure. We can definitely say that Christ has died, Christ is risen, and Christ will come again. But we say this in absolute confidence – not in ourselves, not because of what we have done; we do not scare people by saying ‘Christ will come again’ and tell them to look at themselves, and to check on what they do, but in appreciation of the fact and TRUTH: That Christ is our Good Shepherd, our infinite Savior who has poured out His Spirit to minister to our past, guide us in the present, and to secure us for the future.
May we find our peace from the words of Christ, who is the Living Word. May we live, move, and have our being, knowing all that Christ as done – and in the process, may we recognize just how much it means to call Him King of Kings, and Lord of Lords – Hero, I dare say, of all Heroes. The One who spoke light over the darkness without form, He is the One who spoke Life over the death without escape.
May we find inspiration, motivation and power in His words – Words of the Beginning and the End, which span from beginning to end:
It is good. It is finished. It is done.
With all this said, I’m going back to working out.
God bless us all today, and may we have a great week ahead.