Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Stepping Inside

I used to think that gyms were only for people who were already in shape and at their best. It was intimidating just to think of going into a gym, let alone participating and striving to grow myself. I wanted to get toned and I needed the accountability and motivation that community brings so I, along with the rest of my family, got signed up for a gym membership. A trainer toured us through the facilities and demonstrated how the machines that we were interested in worked. Armed with the clothing we found appropriate and the confidence to navigate the facility, I dove in. Once I had developed a routine and become more at-home in the gym I began noticing the people more. Expecting to see only people who were in the best shape of their lives I was surprised to realize that only about 25% of others working out were in great shape. Most people were out of shape, but they were there, they wanted to be healthier, they were getting in shape.

One day as I was riding a bicycle machine it occurred to me that the gym is similar to the church. Believers and non-believers alike can be afraid to step into a church building because there's a belief that everyone at church is a super Christian and if you aren't spiritually fit then you don't belong there. At the gym the people who are fit don't make those who are not feel unwelcome, they know that we "belong" there as much as they do. Sometimes in the church we contribute to people's feeling that they don't belong with us. Lets be sure we don't. None of us has earned or was born spiritually fit, it is a gift worked out in our lives through faith and obedience -- both of which we only have as a gift as well. The gym is for people who need to get into shape an then maintain and grow their fitness. The church isn't a building or organization, it's a group of people who've been saved from their helpless and hopeless state and filled with the Spirit who brings abundant life. The only way any of us is spiritually fit is because we've allowed The Lord to come in and to have His way with us moment by moment.. and anyone is welcome to do that! So let's welcome others in.

1 comment:

  1. What a beautiful thought, Chelsea! So glad you linked up with the mercy ink community this week. And by the way, we share the same last name, so that's kind of fun :)