There is a new, massive gym called “Lifetime Fitness” that we drive passed on the way to church every Sunday. And every weekend, there are hundreds of cars in the parking lot at 8 in the morning. The lot is about half full of people working on their abs instead of going to church. And every Sunday my wife and I say something judgmental like, “Would you just look at that? So many people not going to church.”
That’s not cool of us or good or very compassionate but I think it started when I was younger. Since my dad is a minister I grew up with Sunday mornings being very regimented. You went to church, that’s what you did on Sunday mornings. And I distinctly remember seeing people jogging as we drove to church and thinking, “Know where you’re jogging to? Hell.” OK, I didn’t think that exactly, I wasn’t that dark of a kid, but that’s essentially what I say when I judge people’s worship decisions.
I establish that my way is the right way. That Sunday morning is the only time to worship. That God is busy on Sunday nights playing ultimate frisbee with Joseph, the man with the technicolor throws, and night services just aren’t the same. That I am correct and you are wrong.
I hate that and it’s a work in progress. This Sunday if I see you walking into Lifetime Fitness to work on your “core,” I’m going to honk and wave and do my best not to think of a fiery lake. Baby steps Jon, baby steps.