Signing up means you need to put in effort

These last few mornings as I have left the house in a rush because I’m running late as usual.

I have made sure to wrap up well against the rain. Not only do I have coat buttoned up to my throat I also have a hat pulled down over my ears.

Of course the minute I’m in the car I have the heating turned up full and after five minutes I might think about taking off my hat.

On school mornings as I’m driving along and passing the bus stops it amazes me how many of the boys and girls stand in all kinds of weather often without coats, hats or scarves.

Maybe at a certain age you don’t feel the cold and you’re not too worried about getting soaked. I remember many years ago travelling home on the school bus and looking out at the rain as many others walked home from school.

It had been a wet day and there were large puddles everywhere.

I looked out the bus window as two boys walked passed a huge puddle I happened to catch sight of the bus which, as it drove through the lake of water, created huge wave about five or six feet tall which soaked the boys. They were like drowned rats, drenched from head to foot.

Like any normal person I reacted by laughing for about five minutes, glad it wasn’t me.

Another memory of school days was having the energy to run all day and most of the night. Always being active, either trying to play football or other fun and games, meant you could have eaten whatever you wanted and never put on weight.

How life has changed; I now look at a salad and I put on half a stone.

To help lose a few pounds and in an effort to get fitter I joined a gym. This means I have to pay money every month to go and use different machines and exercises to keep my weight under control.

The problem with the gym is simple, no matter how much you pay, unless you use all the equipment and exercises, unless you put in the time and effort, you’re wasting your time. I have been at the gym a few years and my father thinks I go there to sit in the café. Just because you have joined a gym, or have signed up for a course doesn’t mean something will happen unless we put in the time and the effort.

Unless we take seriously the commitment of living out the gift of baptism then nothing will happen in our faith lives. Our relationship with God has to be more than an empty contract or promise.

We build up our friendship with Jesus through prayer, in the celebration of the sacraments and through the love and care we show to one another. We need to spend time with God, as we give thanks for all the good things, saying sorry for the times when we have done wrong. Only through turning our hearts towards God can we become truly his children.