"And 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 - and all the more as you see the Day approaching." Hebrews 10:24-25
The treadmill in our basement has been collecting dust for years. The previous owners of the house left it for us, and when we moved in I was pumped by the idea of getting my daily steps without going outside in bad weather. And since I was a fitness trainer and knew how to program effective workouts, I decided to create an exercise space right in our home. I could workout regularly and save money by not paying for a gym membership. Win-win!
I started off strong, but it wasn’t long before I began skipping the appointments I set with myself. Any excuse would do. Maybe I was tired after a long day at work. Or had dinner plans with friends. Or something was on TV I wanted to watch. Most often, I just wasn’t feeling it. Days turned into weeks, weeks into months. With no one to notice my absence or hold me accountable, I fell victim to laziness. Inactivity led to backsliding, and before I knew it my weight increased and hard-earned muscle wasted away. I thought I could do it on my own, but obviously not.
When a new fitness center opened nearby, dozens of my friends joined. They couldn’t stop talking about how helpful it was to have such a strong support system. They were having fun together and seeing amazing results. To be honest, I felt left out. I missed the environment, the dynamic energy, and even the accountability. When I eventually made the decision to enroll in group classes, I was welcomed with open arms, and my health flourished. Being an active part of a fitness family has made all the difference in my overall well-being. The slogan for the gym is “Results will be found in the company you keep.” Truer words have never been spoken.
I guess I am an introvert by nature because I once thought I could take care of my spiritual needs alone, too. My church attendance became sporadic at best, but since Bible studies and sermons are readily available online, I wasn’t too worried about missing anything. Before long, however, my Bible, like the treadmill, was collecting dust. My prayer life became stagnant and eventually faded away completely. I barely noticed the growing distance between myself and God as I backslid into unhealthy behaviors. Whatever spiritual muscle I had built was shriveling. I knew I needed to reconnect with my spiritual family, though, so when a friend encouraged me to attend a service with her, I renewed my commitment to our local church and was embraced into the fold.
Life lessons have taught me that God gave us community for a reason. We thrive on connection. We need other people in order to prosper and grow. Hebrews 10:24-25 compels us: “And 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 – and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
When we meet regularly with people who share our passions and interests, we inspire each other to continue our journey. We motivate each other to give our best. We keep each other on the path to achieving our goals and fulfilling our mission. Whether we’re striving for physical fitness or spiritual fitness, results will definitely be found in the company we keep!