I’m a novice “worker-out-er.” I enjoy exercise, but often have this tension between getting another hour of sleep or exercising at the gym early in the morning before a work day.
I’ve noticed a certain character at the gym for whom I have sympathy. This person purchased a gym membership because they wanted to get back in shape. They thought that they could figure it out on their own. They purchased new workout clothes to help their hope-filled exercise idea, and made their way into the gym on that first day.
Instead of signing up for personal trainer advice, they assumed that they could figure it out along the way.
They casually walk by workout equipment, not knowing how the piece of equipment works, but also not wanting to let anyone know that they do not know how the equipment works. They finally find a couple of exercises that they can do, shuffle into the locker room, place the new workout clothes into a new workout bag and leave. The first couple of workouts go well, but along the way, the resolve to show up, use the time wisely and effectively, tapers and fades.
Life gets in the way, they are bored with workouts, they still feel like a first time visitor at the gym, and it doesn’t seem like the exercise is accomplishing much so they become a member of a large society of folks who have gym memberships and use them sparingly.
It would be interesting to consider how their experience would have been if they would’ve taken up the offer for free training advice, to meet a couple of people along the way, and perhaps had a specific goal for their workout.
I find an interesting correlation with the above story to those who try out Christianity. They hear a rather private, personal message about Jesus. They pray a prayer silently to begin their journey. They attend a church on occasion. They are encouraged to read a Bible in isolation (gleaning something from a verse or two to inspire their day).
Native to the Christian message is the hope of complete life transformation, no short order. One must imagine that a bit of guidance, a vibrant connective experience to others, and a commitment to “stick-with-it” should be suggested to those who desire that they’d like to “try the Christian faith.”
Perhaps many of these folks who struggle with this have never been asked if they need help.
So I am asking.
If you’ve given Christianity a try and would describe that experience like one who has floated in and out of a gym membership, I want to assure you that the issue is neither Christianity or even you. Following Jesus takes care, it takes time, and it takes cultivation. I’ve never met anyone who has it “in their kit” to follow Jesus “naturally.” If anyone has tried to convince you that they have, they are probably not being completely honest with you and are “hustling” you so they do not have to be honest about the profound challenges that comes with being a follower of Jesus.
If you’d like to start over, let me know. I’d enjoy to show you some things that have worked for me.