We've been going to (what is considered a large) gym in our town for about ten months. The size seemed intimidating to me, my pre-conceived ideas of what the people would be like wasn't a draw, and even how to dress to fit in added to my reluctance.
But - one day after officiating at yet another funeral - DW and I marched into the 'club' - wearing our 'we were just at a formal funeral' attire - and committed - to something, anything that seemed sane and physically wise. Sometimes funerals motivate a person.
I've treadmilled and weight machined and even been given direction from a trainer for a little while. Then, I decided to try joining a class - a Zumba class. I'm trying new ways of exercise because I know I need it.
Going by myself to a class that I have no backround in felt intimidating.
The fact that I got flipped-off in an unique way by a lady in the parking lot didn't ease my anxiety. She was aimed to turn right but evidently really planned to turn left. I was in the way. Bummer.
I walked in - slid my membership card through the scanner and tried to find out where the class was being held. Someone actually kind of walked me there while they talked about personal stuff with someone else who joined us as we walked. Suddenly she remembered...me. She pointed the way and went off with her friend. Hmmmm....
Now I wait outside the room with some women who look great in leggings. Bummer.
The class leader asks if there are any new people - I raise my hand. She tells me she will POINT in the direction or the body part we are to pay the most attention to. Nothing verbal. Ok then. ("Run, Forest, Run" came to my mind.) I stood in the back of the class trying to see what she was doing, figuring it out...just when she moved on to the next move. There were some bellydancing moves in there somewhere. Seemed to be some salsa. (What I know about salsa always involves chips.)
(Side note: My parents felt strongly that dancing led to beer or becoming pregnant. They took me out of dance class at school in the 4th grade. They would have taken me out of the Hokey Pokey if they knew how close to dancing that really was. I have NO dance experience. None. Zip.)
I completed the hour long class. No, I don't know if I'm going back. We'll see.
(Please click on the 'Watch on YouTube' access for the short video available at the top of this blog!)
The whole thing reminded me of what it must be like for someone who wants to gain ground spiritually and decides to come to our church. It seems big. What are the people who go there really like? Does someone flip THEM off in the parking lot if things don't go well out there? Please say, no. Do people who are comfortable at our church look like they actually want the new person to come and experience what has been life changing for themselves?
Do we give just enough hints as to what is going on that a person ALMOST feels like they can follow along before we change and do the next new thing?
Does ANYONE say, "Please - come back. Try again. Things won't always feel so weird. It's new, but it's great. I love to come." Does anyone say things like that?
I'll probably hear about the unholiness of zumba exercise - well, actually Dennis will hear about my unholiness, BUT - it has been a great visual for me. If you want to gain ground with Jesus, I want you to know how proud I am of you and the steps you are taking. I know those steps are sometimes hard or intimidating - and the newness makes you wonder if you'll ever 'get it'. You will. You will get it because Jesus is calling YOU. He's calling you to freedom. And, you are not alone on this journey.
I'm trying the "Group Centergy" class next - "grow longer and stronger". :-D I'll let you know how that goes!