Making Friends At The Gym

mark-hopper-color-2x2By Pastor Mark Hopper

 

A new gym opened near our house a couple of years ago.  It is close enough to where we live that we could walk to it.

However, we don’t want to wear ourselves out before we get to the gym, so we usually drive there!

One of the things that you notice at the gym is the diversity of people.  There are both men and women, younger and older.  Everyone is welcome.

I know that most of us go to the gym to get some exercise, work up a sweat and improve our health.  They offer a variety of equipment and they even have personal trainers available to help you if you need it.

But, I have noticed that there is more going on than just exercise.  I notice that people greet one another when they arrive.  I noticed that people talk with one another as they exercise.

Of course, this is not true of everyone.  Some people do keep to themselves.  They wear head phones or ear buds, and they listen to music or do other things on their electronic devices.

The people with big muscles seem to take these work outs pretty seriously and they may not want to be distracted by casual conversation.

But, I have noticed that most people go out of their way to say hello to others.  They seem genuinely glad to see people and talk with others as they exercise.

Although some people come with a friend, it appears that many people have made new friends at the gym.  Recently, I met someone who had lived in my neighborhood for over 20 years.  We had never met until we went to the gym!

I suppose the social aspect of the gym is probably just as important as the physical.  As we improve our physical health, we are also improving our personal and social health, too.

I believe that God did not intend for us to live life in isolation.  He created us to be social creatures that need others to help us grow and enjoy life.

There is a phrase that is found many times in the New Testament.  It is the term “one another”.  We are told to love one another, encourage one another and serve one another. We are also told to forgive one another and carry one another’s burdens.

When we go to the gym, we not only help improve our physical health, but we may be improving the health of others.  When we speak to others and listen to others, we may be improving their health, too.

Let me encourage you to join a gym near you and find some new friends.  You will be glad you did and they will too!

Pastor Mark Hopper is from the Evangelical Free Church of Diamond Bar, 3255 South Diamond Bar Blvd.  Sunday services are 9 a.m. and 10:45 a.m.  For more information, call (909) 594-7604 or visit Efreedb.org.