Rambling for Kirwan Uniting Church Keep in Touch pew sheet 14 July 2019

I’ve joined a gym. After all, I need to get fit and stay fit for Leisa and you all. I had a look at Jetts over the road from the manse, but a) it’s a bit pricey, and b) it’s full of young supermen and wonderwomen, dressed in designer-gym-gear, and who seem to be heaving kiloton weights without breaking a sweat or getting a manicured eyelash out of place. By contrast, Aitkenvale PCYC has special (read “cheap”) prices for old geezers, and the predominant dress code is op shop. There is a problem, in that I haven’t got the foggiest how any of their groovy exercise machines work.
A spiritual “gym” can be intimidating, too.  Paul tells Timothy (2 Timothy 2:15)  “ Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth”. But many of us see the spiritual giants about the place, and think that we can never attain their level of theological knowledge or personal holiness of life, and we’re put off any spiritual exercise at all.  Well let me tell you a story. Last time I was a gym regular, at the Wesley Hospital’s cardiac rehab gym after being stented some years ago, I observed that many of their old geezers were sedately peddling exercise bikes at 4km per month, or ambling on a treadmill at a similarly snail pace. And then they’d all go off to a hospital café for cake/s and coffee and a yarn. I asked one of the exercise physios,  that can’t help them, surely?
He replied, “Depression is an even bigger killer than cholesterol for cardiac patients. Their time here together, sharing war stories about their triple bypasses, and just generally being among friends where they don’t feel useless, does them as much good as any miracle pill”.
The writer to Hebrews (10:24) bids us “ … let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another”.  Never mind the superheroes, in a gym or a Christian community. We do each other good just by being us, loving each other, encouraging each other, sharing our stories of grace.
Oh, and keep an eye on my tummy and chins over the next 6 months 😊

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