“I’m not into the ‘Fluffy Faith Game’,” the 6-foot, 220-pound, all-muscle, tattoo-covered man proclaimed. I had been sitting at the tables, right outside the medical clinic, waiting for my buddy Steve to get off work so we could go to lunch. As I sat there I noticed an inmate working out and making really loud grunting noises with every pullup.
I recognized the man from a Sunday chapel service he briefly attended. I’m not sure why I felt this gave me permission to go speak to him about his faith. I must have been feeling brave because I don’t approach scary men, especially scary men who make violent noises during a workout.
I made my way right next to him, at the second pullup bar. I grabbed onto the bar above me and pretended to get a feel for the grip. I looked over to the beast next to me and gave him my manliest, “S’up?”
He looked over at me with testosterone-filled eyes, with a look that yelled, “Why is this chubby bald man bugging me?” but lucky for me he just replied with a “S’up?”
Again, I don’t know why I took his answer as an invitation to continue, but I did. “Didn’t I see you in the chapel a few weeks back?”
With an intense gaze, he answered, “Yup,” and grabbed the bar above him, did a quick ten pullups, grunting with each one. “I’m not into the ‘Fluffy Faith Game’,” he said. “I left because my buddy who took me kept saying I must just have faith to seek God. I’m not down with all that girly faith stuff.”
I was caught off-guard by his answer. I had never heard seeking God described this way, but I’m quick on the draw and God never fails to bring something to my mind in these situations that I heard or read in the past. “You know, in the book of Matthew it says, ‘Seek and you will find.’ The interesting thing is that the meaning of the word ‘seek’, in the original language, means a heavy, violent action.”
He looked at me and yes, grunted.
“I think,” I continued, “that the word ‘seek’ means to break ground, like with a plow; to move forward as the plow violently rips through the ground.”
“I like that,” the beast said. I’m not sure, but I think I even saw a grin.
“So we should not be content to just seek God passively,” I said, as I hurriedly thought how to answer his “Fluffy Faith” issue. “Just gently seeking will only lead me to nice, fluffy, tickle-my-ears faith. If I desire a deep, rich faith I must violently seek God by breaking up ground. I must plow through fluffy sermons; through books with little substance; through holier-than-thou Christianese speaking. And yes, I must open my Bible and dig – dig – dig into God’s Word. Only then will I find what I’ve been seeking.”
He shook his head and grunted, just once.
“The greatest thing is that once Yeshua – Jesus Christ – is in me, all that broken ground is a perfect place for His Word to take root and grow.”
He grunted a few more times and did another quick set of ten pullups. “I like it,” he said as he was done. “I’ll see you on Sunday.”
I pounded my chest a few times in acknowledgment (yeah, don’t ask, it was the manliest thing I could think of doing since I’m incapable of doing a pullup) and began to walk back toward the clinic. Steve was now out, one hand above his brow to shield his eyes from the sun, looking around for me. I waved at him and he waved back. Just at that moment I realized I had forgotten to tell the scary beast-man something. I turned and shouted, “I’m Adrian! My name is Adrian!”
The great news is that Grunt now regularly attends Sunday services, and in a few weeks he will be baptized by our chaplain.
How are you seeking God? Are you just skimming along the surface of God’s Word? Are you taking a firm grip of His grace? Are you bathing in His love or are you content with a sprinkle? We must plow forward, carefully and diligently turning over the surface of the nutrient-poor surface of the ground of our lives, laid there by shallow preachers and teachers.
Let’s not be content with the fluff we are fed; let’s plow forward, digging deeper into the pure, nutrient-rich soil of God’s Word.
….no grunting from me, just seeking…..
Adrian G. Torres