CAMPING OUT VS WORKING OUT — LESSONS LEARNED IN A GYM

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The motivation for walking in the door of a gym is to work out and tone up the different body muscle groups. At least, ostensibly that is what people say.

However, I have discovered a unique reason for paying an annual gym membership fee, getting into a car, driving to the location of the gym, going into the locker room and changing into “workout” clothes. All of this is done so some people can don their ear buds, listen to their mp3/iPod and wander to various pieces of gymnastic equipment and just camp out there, blissfully resting still, no motion, no working the biceps, the quads, the deltoids or anything else except the iPod. I guess they like to say that they are going to the gym, they like to have the appearance that they are improving their life. But mostly they sit and occupy space that someone else who is serious about their personal progress would like to utilize.

It kind of made me think, “Why pay the money to go the gym, why show up and then just tune out without working out?” The more I noticed that, it started a little nagging question, “Have I ever showed up at church or a worship service, and just tuned out?” When did I drive to the worship center/church, wear worship clothes, and take up a seat, without fully engaging in the action of embracing God and having the joy of exercising a full heart connection with the King of the universe.

I see people who come to church, but did they come to worship? They walk in wearing worship appropriate clothing, but have they “…Put on the Lord Jesus Christ…” as the apostle Paul would say in Romans 13:14? Is it possible to come because I like the atmosphere and sort of think it is a good idea, and yet I take up the time and space there, while missing the potential of truly growing in my spiritual life.

To join in worship is to experience connecting with a personal God in a holy and majestic way. To engage with Him. To bring Him praise, glory, blessing, honor and full attention. And in return we find a reciprocal action. That great God of the universe loves to enter into our life, to build us up, to strengthen us, to transform us into the image of His Son, Jesus Christ.

But it doesn’t happen if we just come to camp out.

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