Outlet Maul


For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12)

Some people don’t read the Bible because they think it’s boring. Some don’t read the Bible because they find it hard to understand. That’s not why I don’t read the Bible. The reason I don’t read it is because it’s just too freaking dangerous. You could get yourself killed reading that thing.

As a little kid I was curious about wall outlets. Those three little holes held mystery for me. One day I did a very logical thing—I took a paper clip and bent it into a two-pronged exploratory tool. Then, when I was sure nobody was looking, I very carefully inserted the ends of the refabricated paper clip into the two matching slots. Suddenly a storm of mad hornets coursed up my arms and exploded through my entire body. With a yelp I was punched back on my butt, still clutching the now charred paper clip. My whole body ached for hours afterward. I was 26 years old before I dared do that again.

The Bible is like a wall outlet. Come to think about it, it’s kind of like an outlet mall too, but that’s not where I’m going with this. And those signs that got changed to “No Outlet” because nobody wants to live on a “Dead End.” And everybody needs an outlet for their energies once in a while. All of which is beside the point, which is that the Bible is like a wall outlet.

The Bible is like a wall outlet. There it sits on your desk or shelf or under the planter. As long as you don’t look at it, it’s relatively harmless. Oh sure, you may knock it off the shelf and it falls on your foot, but that would be an extreme case. But say that one day you think to yourself, “Gee, maybe I should read something in there.” So you move the planter and pick up the Bible. Then you realize that you aren’t all that interested after all and put it back under the planter. This would be what I’d call a close call.

But say you’re either really, really bored or feeling momentarily religious (pretend you’re dying), so you move the planter again and this time you sit down and actually open the Bible. The first thing you notice is that there aren’t any cool pictures, except for some maps in the back with lines showing where Abraham wandered around and where the children of Israel walked out of Egypt only to croak in the desert. You remember now that the Bible is made up of just words. A gazillion words. The religious feeling passes quickly and you tell yourself that maybe you aren’t all that bored. Back it goes under the planter. Another close call.

But say one day you check the Bible out again and this time you read something. Here’s where the outlet thing comes in. Be careful.


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