Wednesday Word: Hobbies
I've mused on hobbies before, so forgive me if this is familiar.
I really only have one hobby – officiating football. The season itself is relatively short; two months and maybe ten Friday night games. Other weekday and Saturday games dot the schedule from late August through October. If one is lucky, a playoff game or two is given as a reward and recognition for a job done well.
Before the season begins, though, the officials meet. Here in Maryland we meet much sooner than anywhere else I've been, with our first meeting in May. We discuss plays and rules. We take tests. We go over mechanics (where to stand and move). And then sometime in late July the current rules books are issued and in August the national test is given. Once the new rules book is in my hand, I begin again the familiar task of reading, highlighting, and making notes. My book is a color-coded series of cross-references and notes in an attempt to have a deep knowledge of what to do when all hell breaks loose on the field.
And over the years I've spent my fair share of money on officiating accouterments: hats, shirts, pants, winter gear, flags, whistles, cards, buzzers, shoes, and more.
I'm not alone.
Many of us have hobbies which we do for fun or sanity, or both. Many of us spend time learning the breadth and length and height and depth of that which we love to do. From badminton to tennis, golf to skiing, quilting to knitting, baseball to scrap-booking, we all have something which we enjoy doing and which we will willingly put our time, talent, and treasure into.
What would happen if we treated church and God as a hobby? Not a hobby that we have on the side to which we simply use for distraction; but as a hobby which we loved, as a hobby which we willingly poured our selves, souls, and bodies into.
I think too many people see church as an obligation, as one more thing that we have to get done during an already busy week.
What if we saw church (in general) and St. John's (in particular) as our hobby? What if this hobby was where we came to have fun? What if this hobby was where we came for some sanity and spiritual recharging? What if this hobby was the place we paid as much attention to as a current rules book or magazine on new knitting patterns?
Do you need a hobby? Try church.