It didn’t happen all at once. In fact, I can’t really pinpoint a moment or a minute or a month when it occurred. As I glance back over the last three years, I recognize it just sort of evolved.

I’ve gained fifteen pounds since moving to Greenville. Unless I’m delusional, it has barely changed my appearance. My clothes do fit a bit snugger, and I feel I’m moving more slowly. My doctor says my fitness level is still in the upper percentile of men my age; many fifty-five year olds would love to be where I am, but the fact remains: I’ve gained fifteen pounds. I’d like to blame it on the multitude of downtown restaurants within easy reach of my condo or on you – parishioners who feed me well in their homes and drop snacks by the office. I know why I am where I am. Over the last three years, my exercise routine has waned. I’m running less, biking rarely and have essentially stopped swimming. I shared this information with the Personnel Committee in January and resolved to resume my active lifestyle. I’m starting this month. Okay, it’s later than I had planned, but at last I’m doing it! Saturday morning, I hit the Swamp Rabbit Trail for my first ‘long run’ in months. The muscle memory was there, some members of the church were there, and it felt good to be back. Who knows? Another month or two and the fifteen pounds may be gone…

I often hear friends and parishioners talk about a certain lethargy in their spiritual life. They feel disconnected from God or the church community. They feel plateaued and sluggish in their prayers and faith practice. They feel the weight of life and it never seems to be relieved. In our conversation, I often find they have stopped attending Sunday School… sometimes even worship. They aren’t sure when it happened. They can’t pinpoint a moment or a minute or a month…it just happened over time. Getting back in the room is often the first step to lifting life’s weight. Feeling the peace of the church’s context and engaging a caring community of faith. It took some effort for me to ‘get on the road again.’ It might take some effort for you to step back into the classroom or sanctuary, but I believe it will take a weight off your life. I’ll see you in Sunday School and worship this Sunday…and maybe even on the Swamp Rabbit Trail…

— Jim