Friday, March 20, 2009

Membership

I don't even know her name, but I know I don't like her. She is this sort of "Million Dollar Woman" woman who works out where I go (every now and then) to exercise. When I walked in last time, there she was pounding the moving "pavement" of the … whatever it is … running like there was no tomorrow. Doesn't she know that this place doesn't close? There's no reason to be in a hurry! "Show off," I thought. Well, I got on my … thing … and did what I call "warming up." Don't want to get too warm, mind you, so I got off and went to do something new. (Don't want to be a show off like she is J ) I noticed that she was getting off, but to my surprise, Bionic Betty just moved down the row and got on a new one. I think she wore out the motor on the first one, or maybe it counted so high on the calorie counter that she had to start over! Now, lest you think that I just developed a bad attitude towards "Betty" in this one visit, don't be so quick. She's there every time I go. Working out like her life depends on it!

So, I have to wonder what it would take for me to be like Betty. I have a membership to the same place she does, but I don't look like that or have that kind of stamina. (Mind you, I think she's at least 10 years older than I am. Hate that.) I've figured out, though, that having the membership isn't enough. My membership card is in my purse, but it does no good left in there, making me feel good that I have one. I have to go regularly and put forth some effort. Let me confess that I've been busy, and it had been two weeks since I'd been there at all. When I finally went, I stopped in for a quick 20 minute visit. Then I wonder why I'm not getting stronger or faster. Membership isn't enough! Active participation is the key.

There are all kinds of posters on the walls at the gym, trying to motivate people like me. There is color coordinated equipment, convenient water fountains, flexible hours, and even screens to watch something interesting while I work out. But if I don't go, and if I don't engage my own body, I won't get healthier. Sounds like church life.

You can have a membership, but if you don't engage your own heart and mind (and body), then you don't get any healthier. You might even see a "Betty," and you might even think she's a show off, and you might not even like her, because she's so faithful and so healthy. Is there a Bible sitting on the desk, being passed by, but making us feel better that we have one? Church. Gym. Even the Apostle Paul told us there was a connection.

  1. Be a regular
  2. Put forth effort
  3. Actively participate
  4. Don't rush in and out
  5. Stick with it over time to see results

We have a tendency to start strong and fizzle out. It takes a bad cholesterol test or a heart attack or a little black dress to jumpstart our desire to get back on track. Or maybe it takes a recession, or a job loss, or family stress, or relationship disappointment to remind us that we need God's peace to fill our emptiness and give us direction and hope.

Hebrews 10:25 says, "Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching."

A membership? Now, more than ever, is a great time to use it.

6 COMMENTS ~ Click here to leave a COMMENT:

ambersun said...

Great post.

Love the gym/Bible study twist.

I've been sick for seven years and things like exercise and regular Bible study just didn't happen.

So easy not to take them up again but I owe it to God to try.

Keep it up.

Amber

Rebecca said...

Oooh. Very nice. Good word picture.

Thanks for the insight! :^)

Karen said...

Your words are so true. I need to get off this computer more and exercise! Thanks for the compliment on my bedroom and quilt. Have fun at the Ultimate Blog Party.

Lynds said...

I found your blog from the party, and I have to say this post went in a direction I didn't see! Great connection! Both require commitment and investment. As for me when I see "Betty" I think... I want to be like that.

Jen @ Sunshine4Teachers said...

I found you through the blog party and am so glad I did. What a great connection this post made with me. Looking forward to following and reading more :) Jen

Joanne@ Blessed... said...

I found you through Wendy's blog. What a great post. You wrote on two things that I recently wrote about myself...not giving up the fellowship of other believer and working out...YUK! I have a friend who is a workout-nut.

Looking forward to coming back here for more!

Warmly,

Joanne