Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Are We Taking the "RunPee" Approach to the Bible?

How many times have you been sitting in a theater—jumbo Coke and large popcorn forgotten—trying to concentrate on the movie while another part of your brain is analyzing each scene for an opportunity make a mad dash to the restroom.
Well, there's an app for that. It's called RunPee and it can make your movie going experience far more enjoyable.
I'm not making this up!

You can check to see when the best times are to “run pee” during the movie—then, when you have to make a dash, you know you aren’t missing anything important. The good folks at RunPee have determined which minutes you can miss without impeding your understanding of the story, and just to be sure, they provide a handy summary of what happens during your time away.

You slide back into your seat, take a sip of Coke, and pick up right where you left off.

While this works great for movies, I see a lot of believers taking the "RunPee" approach to the Bible. There are sections that just don’t seem to be moving the narrative forward. You’ve got Leviticus and the repetition of laws and detailed instructions on sacrifices. Sacrifices, I might add, that are no longer necessary because of Jesus, so we can totally skip that part.


Then Numbers starts off with a few chapters only an accountant could love. List after list of people with difficult to pronounce names and lots of, well, numbers.

And can we go ahead and talk about the genealogies. Hellllo? This guy begat this guy who begat this guy…Can you say snoozefest?

Of course, most believers I know would never say such a thing. We toe the party line...“If God put it in the Bible then it’s important.”

The deep down truth is that we don’t believe it. Those verses are fine for skimming (or skipping when you fall behind on your Read through the Bible in a Year plan).

So you slide into your recliner, take a sip of coffee, and pick up in Joshua or Matthew 2.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not going to pretend that my soul is stirred when I read about purification rituals or the procedure for sacrificing a bird, but this is the Bible we’re talking about, not the latest Hollywood attempt at entertainment. I’m not reading it because I want to feel good or get a laugh (although I frequently do).

I’m reading it because I want to know the One who wrote it. I want to understand the Story I’m living in.

All those numbers and rituals and genealogies? They make my reading of the New Testament richer and my appreciation for grace deeper.
I see my Jesus in a way I’ve never seen Him before, and my Jesus is so amazing that I don’t want to miss even one second of His story.

So tell me…how do YOU feel about Leviticus, Numbers, genealogies, or other difficult to digest parts of Scripture? Have you always skipped over them? If you’ve slogged through, have you seen things you’ve missed before? Let’s talk about it in the comments!


Cathy Baker said...

I have a whole new appreciation for anyone who can use the words "RunPee" and "Leviticus" in the same sentence. Great analogy, Lynn! I remember the first time I saw Rahab's name in the lineage of Jesus. It changed the way I read a list of names in the Bible. Every word is for a purpose -- none are included by coincidence.

Loved this post (and I'm going to download the app). Is there a RunPopcorn app?

Lynn Huggins Blackburn said...

@Cathy - :-) Thanks! And I love the RunPopcorn idea :-)

Finding Hope said...

So how do you get through these books? I feel like my brain goes in shut down mode and find myself reading it over to figure out what I actually read.