The Bible vs my health club |

The Bible vs my health club

Barry Smith

It’s been about a year since the Jehovah’s Witnesses last stopped by, and I’m starting to worry that I might have offended them.I made an offhanded comment, one that has continued to reverberate in my life, and I think they may have taken it the wrong way.The woman asked me what I thought of the Bible as a book of guidance, and I replied, sure, if it works for you, but for me the phone book might prove to be a bit more useful. I was trying to make a joke, but instead of laughing, she responded like I’d just slapped her with my stigmata-ridden hand. In an attempt to smooth things over, I went on to say that I, personally, find guidance everywhere, always; a stop sign, a random passage from a random book, an overheard quote. If it’s guidance you want, just look around, I said. Why limit yourself to some musty, irrelevant babblings from thousands of years ago?She packed up her pamphlets and left. Maybe I went too far with the “musty” part.But since that day I keep returning to the idea that guidance is everywhere – lately I’ve been getting a lot of it from the signs posted in my health club.So, let’s do a little head-to-head competition.BIBLE: Jeremiah 22: 5,7 “But if ye will not hear these words, I swear by myself, saith the LORD, that this house shall become a desolation. And I will prepare destroyers against thee, every one with his weapons: and they shall cut down thy choice cedars, and cast them into the fire.HEALTH CLUB SIGN: “Please Place Towels In The Blue Bins. Thank You.”ANALYSIS: I don’t want to tell God how to write His book, but a little “thank you” goes a long way. Not only do I put my towel in the blue bin, but I sometimes find myself putting OTHER people’s towels there. Now, if the sign said, “Place Towels In Blue Bins Or I Will Prepare Destroyers Against Thee!” well, forget it. There’s just no need to take that tone with me.BIBLE: Luke 11: 10-12 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?HEALTH CLUB SIGN: “Keep Hands And Feet Clear While Machine Is In Use.”ANALYSIS: I don’t want to imply that Jesus is a liar, but I think that if my father had easy access to a scorpion, then yes, he WOULD give it to me instead of an egg. I know this because when I was 10 I asked for a motorcycle for Christmas and he got me a freakin’ pair of roller skates instead. So, even though I’m into the whole seeketh and findeth concept, I have to be wary of anything that Jesus says from this point on.However, if the question on the table is, “Should I put my hands or feet where heavy objects are being repeatedly raised and dropped?” then the health club sign is your number one source for no-nonsense guidance.BIBLE: Leviticus 7: 3-4 And he shall offer of it all the fat thereof; the rump, and the fat that covereth the innards, and the two kidneys, and the fat that is on them, which is by the flanks, and the caul that is above the liver, with the kidneys, it shall he take away.HEALTH CLUB SIGN: “This Unit Must Be Bolted To The Floor Before Use.”ANALYSIS: No contest. Health club takes this one for both practicality and sentence structure, though a slight nod to the Bible is in order for getting me excited about lunch.To be continued…(Next time: Barry has another go at eternal damnation.) VTContact Barry Smith at or visit his Web page at

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