It was a long time ago, but I was a good athlete in high school. Since I went to a relatively small school, I had the chance to be on the team and play football, basketball, and track. Our teams were good, too- regularly advancing well into the playoffs and often winning the state championship. (I remember well those games against First Baptist and Porter Gaud!)
Playing sports year-round meant practicing year-round. Even during the summer, we were lifting weights and running- all according to the schedule set up by the strength and conditioning coaches. We were in great shape!
Fast forward about 8 years to my first job as an Associate Pastor in Thomasville, Georgia and a first trip to the YMCA across the street from the church. A membership was part of my call package, and I made an appointment with a church member who worked at the Y so I could get the lay of the land. I knew I wanted to start exercising again and overcome the reading-books-in-the-library-lifestyle I got used to in seminary.
So, I walk into the Y and find my friend Susan. Susan shows me the cardio room, the weight room, and the other parts of the Y that are interesting to me. I’ll never forget her question as she looked at me: “So, I guess I need to show you how to work all this stuff, huh?” I tried my best to tell her I was an old pro, an accomplished athlete, an expert in all the equipment she showed me, but she was not a believer. Despite my protests, all she had to do was look at me to tell I might not be the workout expert I claimed to be. It turns out she was right- I needed (badly) to get back to the basics. Today, I appreciate Susan’s candor – and even humor- as she showed me the proper way to do a sit-up!
I have a hunch what I went through that day physically is what many of us go through spiritually. There was a time when we were very active in our exercise of prayer, worship, devotion, and service. It may have been a while, though, and our muscles have atrophied. We need to get back in the habit. Get back in shape.
This Sunday is Rally Day. It’s promotion Sunday for the children and youth, but the day is not just for them. It is a day for you to get back in the habit. Commit to worship. Join a Sunday School class. Find a way to serve the Lord and his church.
What will Westminster look like with every member in shape and flexing our muscles? I’d like to see it. To God be the Glory!