Why I Go To Church, (But Not Gym)

churchI’m tired.  The house is a mess.  I’m scared of strangers.  I don’t want to feel guilty. It’s raining.  I don’t think I need it.  I can do it at home. I like (my) routine.  I’m fine as I am.

These are some of my reasons for not doing things.  Scary group activities that require me to leave my couch.

Zumba lessons. Learning another language. Going to church.

I will never be a member of Fitness First.  But I need my church.

Here’s why:

  1. to remember the past
  2. to let go of the past
  3. because I can’t love God till I know He loves me
  4. to be connected
  5. to quiet my soul
  6. to wake me up from myself
  7. to know who I am and where I belong
  8. the Bible tells me to  (Heb 10:24-5)
  9. to reflect on the week and see it through God’s eyes
  10. to gain hope and strength for what is ahead
  11. to learn how to live
  12. to learn how to die
  13. because the church is less when I’m not there
  14. because I need my family round me
  15. because ‘the word of a brother is stronger than than my own’ (Bonhoeffer)
  16. because we are joined together in Jesus
  17. to share my burdens and to carry others
  18. because I’m no good on my own.  I’m hungry and empty and faithless and frightened
  19. because reading and praying alone is not enough
  20. to talk things through
  21. to see what God is doing in others
  22. to be challenged (I hate this but it’s important)
  23. to read the scary passages I tend to skip at home
  24. because the Christian life is not meant to be lived alone
  25. because my brothers and sisters got my back
  26. because my gifts are for the church, not me
  27. because I need reminding that God is big and powerful
  28. because I need reminding that God became small and weak
  29. because I don’t know what I need! –  but He does
  30. to gather together round His table
  31. it gives me opportunities I don’t get anywhere else – and there’s no community like it
  32. even the things I struggle with are ways that God changes me
  33. because everybody else is not like me and I forget that
  34. because we are one body – but I need reminding I’m not alone
  35. because I have a lot of questions
  36. the singing and the stories
  37. as a witness to the world
  38. because it’s full of messy people like me
  39. because everyone belongs
  40. because He is there


7 thoughts on “Why I Go To Church, (But Not Gym)

  1. YES! Yes to all the above and especially No 25. I really can’t imagine where I would be without our church family.

  2. I don’t know how it does all those things but it does somehow. At its worst it is rubbish and yet still it works. Can’t be anything but God.

  3. Sounds as if your humanity is enlarged when you go to church. You know that you are have a bit of a void inside and you need, to use that awful expression, to be filled. It’s amazing that people don’t avoid you, walking on the other side because they dont want to share the complications of your pain etc. There must be some love about that place. It must be amazing to find peope who make a difference by coming to ‘your level’. Makes one think how many empty people there are, people who are difficult to reach because we dont know what to do and maybe dont like them anyway. And then they would protect themselves from further pain and keep at arms length from others. What makes the difference is being in a place of love, unfortunately the world does not operate on that basis. I thought we were nutured in love, knew our place and where we were going, but now it seems that is only the start of it. Families dissolve, members of it die, and then what? We all seem to need, as i note in the above, family. Would not that be nice. Just imagine the scenes, if on the proviso, that what you dont ask you dont get, we asked : give us some of your love. Then we realise how sick society is. Some of us disguise the pain. We can still end up with passions and then maybe no one is really there. To be able to say, look mummy, look what i did, watch me. All these child like needs go unackrnoweldged in later life, unaddressed. I might like needy people like myself, it is just that I am mostly a bit too absorbed with myself having decided that there is nowhere else to go to escape. I can’t get out of that conundrum alone. I may be talking nonsense, but gradually i too will feel the need for a generous enlargement of self, and a reacquaintence which is the enjohyment of others. Yes, enjoyment, rather than the sharing in the pain of others. Forgoodness sake i say to myself, lighten up. Lighten up you folks, as they say, things might be hard, but not that hard. A cliche has become my friend for a while, too habituated to my ways to do much more than that, but when the spark of another sets me alight, I am terribly appreciative of that, not knowing a level of joy or satisfaction like that could be acheived. Then i am not alone, and i am less my imprisoned self rather seeing humanity as a shared project in which we all belong. Ooh, and the other bit of advice i remember was: act happy and you shall be happy. Life can be doppy like that. i would like my epitaph to be, he did all the wrong things, but at least he did not shut God out.

  4. All good reasons, and you can add “Learning another language” because you are learning ‘The language of Love’…

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