I’ve been a church-going girl all of my life, literally since I was born. Being a Christian has been one of the primary ways I identify myself, and a big part of that is attending church. My weakest moments only meant that I would attend more – every time the doors were open, if I could.
Entering my mid-thirties, however, I began to entertain for the first time the idea that maybe I’d just rather stay home. Millions of twenty-somethings are doing it; that would make me a trend-setter, right? I was tired, disappointed, busy, and just burnt out. And, I hate to admit this, but the age-old excuse was right: It actually is full of hypocrites.
Yet something compelled me to stick with it and it wasn’t until Sunday School yesterday that I found the words for why: Going to church is just like going to the gym.
The people I have met at the gym are ALL hypocrites. For one thing, their motives are not pure. They do not want to be there, or if they do, it’s to feed their egos or some other self-serving need. Maybe they’ve come to socialize, to network, to connect with that cute gym bunny who always comes in at 7 a.m. Maybe they are compulsive exercisers who fear going a day without it. Maybe they can’t do it on their own and need the motivating presence and activity of others.
Not only that, but however they look inside the gym, they do not leave those doors and live a perfect life of health in the rest of the world. There is no one who never ever makes a bad health choice, be it eating something off-diet or neglecting their rest or balancing their time management perfectly. Some of us come closer than others, but no one can claim a life of perfect health and choices one hundred percent of the time.
Yet no one would ever condone these observations as a valid reason not to go to the gym.
This holds true for most of the reasons I use and/or hear to rationalize dropping out:
-I don’t fit in / don’t agree / don’t like some of the people there.
-They only want me for my money.
-I don’t have time.
-That’s my only day to sleep in.
-I don’t like the way it’s organized.
-I had a bad experience.
-I don’t need to. I can make it on my own.
Some of these may be valid reasons for eschewing one particular site or group, but not for giving up entirely. It’s a discipline. It’s supposed to be hard.
The hard parts are what make me better.