My friend and I hit the YMCA three days per week at O-Dark-30. We see the same people at the YMCA week in and week out and it hit me: this is a little bit like church.
The YMCA has a guy who makes a whole lot of grunting, hacking noises when he works out. Some people at church sing too loudly. God is probably more pleased with them than me, so I promise I'm not judging.
The YMCA has people there who look lost and confused, not sure where to go next or what to do once they get there. Some at Heritage Park are new to church and have no idea why we're trying to drown the guy in the water behind the stage or why we hug each other so much or where 2 Timothy is in the Bible.
The YMCA has people who are there for someone else, that person either being there with them or being the reason they work out. The church shows up for Someone else too.
The YMCA has new, zealous people who are pushing way too hard and will end up hurt or too sore to return. Church has people who push so hard to serve (often out of guilt) that they end up hurt and sore too.
The YMCA also has plodding, faithful, routine-oriented people who are healthy and solid. Our church has a lot of those too, for whom I am incredibly grateful and look to them as models for myself and others.
The YMCA is better with a workout partner whose accountability keeps me from sleeping in at least one day a week. Yep. Church too.
But that's just me thinking thoughts...