I go to the gym now.
Twice a week I go to the gym with my wife. It’s “A thing together.” When I don’t feel like going, I know that she wants to go, so I “man up” and go anyway, for her and for me. There are times when she may not want to work out, but the “thing together” keeps us both going, together. It’s a fellowship.
I go to the gym now. And there are other “gym rats” that I see at the gym regularly. Seeing them work out motivates me. I don’t worry about those who look like they’re in better shape than me, and I’m not particularly jealous of them (well, maybe a little) but the motivation of seeing them at the gym week in and week out is a great motivator.
When I was much younger, I ran track, played a little ball, road my bike and tried to swim. Now that I’m on the other side of 50, I don’t (did someone say can’t?) do all that anymore. So I go to the gym now. The more I go to the gym, the better I feel physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I feel a lot better about myself now than I did when I was just “talking about” going to the gym.
The parallel of going to the gym and going to church cannot be stronger. You go to the gym and to church for yourself and for others. Faith is personal and yet it is lived out in community. It is a fellowship. You need fellowship as much as you need solitude; the two are not mutually exclusive. When I don’t go to the gym, I feel it. When I miss church, I feel it. It’s a physical and a spiritual longing that can only be satisfied by attendance.
The down side to going to the gym is that it’s become a modern-day “temple” for some. It is their worship. This is nothing new; the ancient Greeks and Romans “worshiped” their bodies as well. I advocate the parallel of the gym with worship, not the replacement.
So regardless of how we feel or what happened during our day, or who did us wrong, or what went wrong, we go to the gym. Likewise, we should also go to our places of worship, to fellowship with others and to get built up ourselves in the process.