by Angela May
I returned to a group exercise class this week. I welcomed having an experienced instructor lead the way, and correct me when I was doing it wrong or not enough to be effective. And then there was the matter of sharing the class with others and being determined to demonstrate that I was not a slacker after all. I am sure that my presence helped the others too to keep persevering, while we sweated and groaned together. No more pretending with an audience of only my dog! I realised that while I had been working out at home during Covid isolation, this was not as effective as doing it with others. As my extra kilograms demonstrate, I have become quite flabby in isolation and as the next day’s pain echoed, I was evidently taking shortcuts too! I had gotten out of the habit of exercising well.
This week I also returned to Church. During Covid isolation, I had gotten used to dragging myself out of bed and plonking myself in front of the casting screen, watching the recorded sermon with my slippered feet on the coffee table. Okay, I did not have many options and truthfully, it was a welcome change; but I had gotten out of the habit of meeting with others.
The author of Hebrews calls us to not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing; and we should keep encouraging one another. (Hebrews 10:25) Perhaps you have been doing that well online and by telephone. For most of us, that has been the only option. But, as my experiences this week highlight, there is no substitute for meeting together in the same physical space. I am glad I got up that little bit earlier, changed out of my slippers and made the effort to attend the morning’s church service. While I missed hugging and sharing a cuppa during fellowship time, I was blessed just to greet a couple of my sisters in Christ who also shared a short word of encouragement and blessing.
My concern is that that some of our sisters will not return to fellowship after such a break. Some will have gotten out of the habit, and maybe even become discouraged. Some of our sisters will struggle to find their way back to Sunday and other gatherings. They will miss out on those incidental and vital opportunities to stir up love and good works in each other. And unless given a nudge and encouraged along, some may struggle to get back into the habit of meeting altogether. Who will you give a nudge to or encourage this week?
It is not until you return to meeting together that you realise how flabby you get in isolation, even with the best intentions. Returning to gatherings require a little more effort to begin with, but the rewards are worth it. Considering what Jesus has done for us, let us continue to pursue the community of His people.
Angela loves to apply the Word of God to everyday life. She identifies with the challenge women face today as they strive to balance the demands of family, work, and ministry. She is passionate about women's emotional and spiritual health and how they can find that in Jesus. Angela is a high school Teacher and Chaplain, is Bible College trained and an experienced speaker and presenter. Angela is getting back into the habit of blogging regularly. You can follow her on social media or at www.angelamay.online
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