An uphill struggle ?
I am a cyclist – I should really say a fine weather cyclist;; the past month has been challenging at times as, although dry, it’s been frosty and windy on a number of occasions as I’ve left for work.
During the winter months I would normally swap the roads of South Lincs for a turbo trainer in the garage, just to keep the legs active. This winter it didn’t happen; having recently moved I didn’t manage to find space to set up, and so a “winter of discontent” resulted.
The upshot of this inactivity has been a struggle to get back to fitness; even the most gentle incline feeling like Gunboro hill with a headwind!
I read, a while ago, that muscle atrophy (wasting) begins after as little as six weeks if exercise ceases, so, following 3-4 months off the bike, I understand why I’m left feeling this way – I won’t forget this next time around.
Having lived through the last 12 months without our usual, regular, opportunities to worship inside our chosen church/chapel, I wonder if a similar thing has happened.
Have we seen our Christian “muscle” atrophy through lack of regular exercise?
I can hear shouts of “NO!”; but I’m sure that isn’t universally true.
I have a friend who is pastor of a Baptist church in the South East, he reports that when lockdown began and the doors were closed, the online ministry was greeted with enthusiasm, however, as time passed numbers fell. The regular “exercise” became less regular, and for some ceased completely.
I wonder how much of this is due to a lack of encouragement; attending church regularly exposes us to God’s word – we are spiritually uplifted; we enjoy fellowship with like minded people who help us along the way.
The author of Hebrews 12 wrote that, “since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses”, we should, “run with endurance the race that is set before us” – the cloud of witnesses, shouting encouragement from the sidelines that encourages us – spurs us on in our race.
We’ve been missing that encouragement for a long time now; let’s look forward to the day when the doors are opened again. Maybe it will be an effort, initially, to get back into our stride, but the Christian life is “the long run”; one thing we can be certain of is that we won’t be running alone – The Great Encourager will be close at hand.
God bless you.