M-Note 9.10.2021

A couple of days ago, I made an offer that I sort of regretted. Martin Leathers, the Student Pastor here at The Gathering, is training for a marathon. His training cycle is just now peaking, so he has some long runs to do. Off-handedly, I said, “Hey, if you ever need company on some of your long runs, I’d be happy to run part of them with you.” Without missing a beat, he took me up on the offer. Today, he had to run 18 miles and asked me if I would join him for 12 of them. So, this morning Martin and I ran around Forest Park a couple of times. I included a picture for proof.
 
The run was much more fun than I anticipated. The weather was great, Martin and I had a chance to talk, but most of all, I got to play a small role in helping a friend accomplish a goal. That made a longer-than-usual run easily worth it.
 
I was thinking about this because we often make decisions in life (and church) based on what we feel like, what we want to do, and how it might impact us. Take worship for example. If we are in crisis or have a big decision to make, maybe we decide to attend worship. If we had a late night, or just aren’t feeling it, maybe we skip. Same with a small group. If we are lonely or disconnected, maybe we decide to sign up for a group. But if we are busy, and our relationships are rewarding, maybe we decide we don’t need it. Human nature is to make decisions based on what I need.
 
But, Jesus asks us to consider the ways our own decisions or behaviors have the potential to help someone else. Take that worship example. Every Sunday may not be a mountain top moment for you. Every Sunday may not be the day you desperately need church. But, I promise you this. Every Sunday someone in the room needs it. Someone is having their mountain top moment. And that wouldn’t be possible without each one of us being there, each one of us participating, and each one of us creating the atmosphere for others to connect with God.
 
There are days when we just aren’t feeling it. I get that. We don’t feel like worshiping, or serving, or going to a CoreGroup every single time. That happens, and it is normal. But remember this, every time you participate, every time you do it, it can be life-changing for someone else. Just showing up can be an act of service.

So thank you, Gathering. Thanks to all of you that keep showing up for one another. Thanks for continuing to worship (online or in-person) and helping to create meaningful moments where people connect with God. Thanks to the nearly 1000 people that signed up for a CoreGroup because you are helping others find connection and community. And thanks to all of you who give or serve. Those ways of showing up deeply matter to other people who need the church right now.
 
Thank you for all you do. Just moments ago someone asked me if I would run it again next week. Would I? Absolutely. Just don’t tell Martin!

Peace,

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