I love preaching in jeans at our church. We have a “come as you are” perspective at The Eastside Vineyard and since jeans are my favorite thing to wear when I’m not at church, jeans are what I wear when I preach.
So a couple months back I began to realize my jeans were a bit more snug around the middle than they used to be. So I put on another pair. Same problem. I realized either Kellie shrunk all of my jeans in the dryer simultaneously or I was putting on some extra pounds.
Just after Labor Day I decided to join a gym. I spent a few hours calling the various ones in town and checked out their websites as well. I even visited a couple of them in person and got a free 3-day pass to the Shelby Township Athletic Club. Plus, Kellie and I spent a couple hours going to Dunham’s and Target getting me some new workout clothes.
I think it was on the way home from Target that Kellie put wind in my sails when she said, “Dan, I’m so proud of you for doing this!”
As soon as she said that, I had a holy moment.
At first I replied on the physical side of things. I joked, “Well, I actually haven’t done anything yet!” After all, up to that point all I did was buy some new clothes and get a free pass to the gym. I had yet to go a single time. I had yet to lose a single pound of fat or gain a single ounce of muscle. So we had a laugh about that.
But as soon as I cracked my joke, God cracked me over the head with a 2×4. I realized what I said had spiritual ramifications as well. Because how often do we simply intend to do things when it comes to our spiritual journey, but never actually get around to doing them? Like go on an overnight retreat at the Capuchin Retreat Center to get alone with God. Or we buy a brand new Bible and intend to read it from cover to cover in a year, but we stall out in Leviticus. Or we intend to begin serving the poor and needy. Or we intend to begin memorizing Scripture. Or we intend to get that accountability partner or join a small group so we stop being a spiritual lone ranger. Or we intend to begin to tithe.
May you and I no longer simply “intend” with it comes to our spirituality. May we actually do something, especially that thing we have been putting off.
After all, Paul wrote: “Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.” – 1 Timothy 4:7-8.
By the way, so far I am down 8 pounds.
***Join us this Sunday at The Eastside Vineyard Church. We’ll be continuing our verse-by-verse look at the gospel of Matthew. My sermon is titled “Up and Down the Mountain” and is based on the transfiguration of Jesus in Matthew 17:1-13. Plus as always there will be worship, communion, and an opportunity to receive 1-on-1 prayer. October 14th. 10:30am. More info at tevchurch.org***