My dad, Tim Stanford, has agreed to share some thoughts here. He is a vicar in Worksop and also loves riding around on his Harley Davidson. He has been a real inspiration to my self and loads of other people; I hope you enjoy reading what he has to share.
I am always surprised at this time of year, just how busy the gym gets. It seems like the world and his wife are trying to get beach ready. Everyone wants the perfect body for their holidays.
I remember my first time in the gym, feeling out of place, I did not know how to use any of the equipment, I wasn’t sure if I was wearing the right gear, and it felt like everyone was staring at me. But once I got into it, I found that everyone was friendly and were happy to show me how to use the equipment. I now really enjoy going, and have found it to be beneficial to my health
Those same fears can stop people going through the doors of a Church. Yet this is where we find more than just hope for a body beautiful; but a body of ordinary people, who have found a fresh hope in God.
But the truth is, like the gym, we need to go regularly to get real benefit from being with a community of believers. Lets not be like those who go to the gym every day the fortnight before their holidays and expect to be totally buffed. But rather be ready to spend time in prayer and reading the bible, spending time with God and other believers. This is only true way to grow our spiritual muscles. And lets be ready to accept the stranger that walks through the doors of our Churches, helping them to feel welcomed and like they have found a home.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us”. (Hebrews 12:1. New Living Translation)