Time certainly flies around here, and you don't even need to be having fun for it to happen! For the last two weeks Ive been getting up at 5:30, catching the 6:58 train and spending all day in the gym. Monday to Friday commuting just like I remember it. Ah, the joy!! The reason for all this resides in my brilliant idea to add a personal trainer qualification to my portfolio. So far I've passed the gym instructors part of the course and the next two weeks is the PT bit. To be honest, I'm not looking forward to it. I'm not the "in your face" sort of person that seems to be the industry standard for PT's. Ah well, as long as I get through the course I can then stamp my own personality of the world of personal training.
The point of all this is not to become some sort of gym-bore. I'd like to work with people where they are, in the park etc., and not be stuck in the gym environment surrounded by people lifting weights that are too heavy for them and the thing they are trying to do. Hopefully the PT qualification will integrate nicely with the sports massage and will open a few doors to a few clients so I can earn some money. But I also hope that it will help me get to know the community a little better. I have these idealised pictures of me and a small group of people getting fitter as we have fun in the local park and walking around the village. I told you it was rather idealised.
Away from the rigours of PT qualification, I've learnt a lot just by travelling daily on the train and tube. I've remembered just how draining it can be and how little you want to do when you get home at the end of a long day. I've realised again how important it is for those of us in church leadership (I may not be in a church, but I don't see myself as having left church leadership just yet) to remember that and not prioritise church over family or even friendship. It's a tough balance to hold, but I think I'd rather sway towards the priority of family and friends than church meetings and even dare one say Bible studies. For me, I'd rather get to heaven having known a lot of people, sought to share my faith with them, sought to help them reconnect with the God who misses them, rather than be able to answer obscure questions about abstruse passages of the Bible. I'm not sure I'm going to get tested on my theology on that great and final day.
In the end this al comes down to one simple truth. We all have a fixed amount of time in any given day or week or month. How we use that time is largely up to us. Yes we have the demands of our jobs if we are fortunate to be in employment. and work is where we spend most of our waking time. If we are part of a family, this too takes up a fair amount of our time. The rest is up for grabs. This is Oldenburg's Third Place, and this is where the church must find it's place. If it can't find it's place here, then it will have to take time and resources away from the other two, and if it absorbs all of the third place time, then it will exclude connecting with those who are missing from the kingdom.
Working out the balance is the challenge we face. Perhaps I can figure that out on the train tomorrow morning between reviewing all the muscle origins, insertions and actions I'm trying to learn!