I hate cardio work outs. I’m nearly six feet tall and I wear 32 inch inseam pants, I’m not exactly “born to run”. If left to my own fitness devices, I’d probably only do upper body strength training and look like one of those dudes you see at the gym with the rippling muscles up top and tiny little bird legs. (OK, I probably would never have the rippling muscles…but I would definitely have the atrophied “bird legs”.)
Sunday I talked about “working hard to show the results of your salvation” from Phillipians 2:12-13. The difficulty most of us have is knowing what it is that we should be “working at”. What should our spiritual “work” entail? Everyone has their favorite exercise…at the gym…and in the spiritual disciplines.
There are “prayer people”- people who if given the chance would turn every day of the week into a 24 hour prayer meeting.
There are” service people”- people who feel that everything from Bible Study to Church services are a waste of time. “If we want to be like Jesus we should be serving the poor and disadvantaged” they say.
There are “knowledge people”- people who put their entire effort into learning scripture, studying scripture, dissecting scripture. Ask them a question, and their answer is always to learn more scripture.
Other folks value community over all else. If you ask them what the most important aspect of Church is, they will say living in community with other believers is the most important thing.
For every spiritual pursuit or discipline, you can find someone who chooses that “exercise” above all others…who, if left to their own spiritual devices, would exclusively practice it until they became as spiritually unwieldy and awkward as the bodybuilder at the gym with rippling upper body muscles wobbling around on tiny bird legs.
In our upcoming actiongroups that we will be launching in the Fall, the Spiritual Disciplines we are encouraging members to participate in are: Bible study, prayer, confession, worship, community, service to others and recreation..yeah…that means having fun together. ALL of those disciplines together make up a a BALANCE of spiritual “work”. And yes, I know the prayer folks will probably attend for the prayer, and the knowledge folks will attend hoping there will be more Bible study, the community folks will be ecstatic just to have a small group meeting to attend. I know that everyone has their own favorite excercise that they enjoy like I enjoy decline bench press. I believe that will help us all do the “work” of the Spiritual Disciplines in a balanced and enjoyable community setting.
I’m excited for this, and many other, benefits that will come from the actiongroups launch that James McBride and crew are preparing. I hope you’ll be a part of it.
Otherwise, you just might end up with bird legs.