Friday, 9 June 2017

It isn't that important to me...

When we went sailing a few weeks ago, I mentioned to one of the club members that I had tried sailing a topper as a teenager, and really enjoyed it.  He asked: "Why haven't you done any sailing since then?"

Well.

On the face of it, that's a perfectly reasonable question.  On the other hand, why don't we do all these many things that we would probably enjoy if we did them?

Because our weekends are already full. 
Because we don't know anyone else who does it. 
Because it will cost money. 
Because we're afraid it will take up all our time.
Because the kids don't want to.

Because, quite frankly, it isn't that important to us.

Which isn't really something you can say to someone who's been sailing for longer than you've been alive.  But that's pretty much what it comes down to.

That brief conversation, and a similar one with a tennis instructor, served to point out the difference between those who are "in" an activity - and can't understand why someone else wouldn't at least want to try it - and those who are "out", for whom the question, "Why not?" is answered by, "Why would I?"  When sailing is your whole life, it can be hard to comprehend that it's not even on someone else's radar.

Church, of course, is much more than a leisure activity - at least for those who are in it.  But there are certain similarities to a sailing club.  It's what you do at the weekend.  It's where you make friends with like-minded people.  It organises barbeques and breakfasts.  It will take over your life if you want it to (and possibly even if you don't).  It has branches all over the country.

And those who are "in" don't really understand why those who aren't, aren't.

I mean, we know, of course, that plenty of people don't go to church.  Or sail.  Or play tennis.  And we realise that this is for the same kind of reasons that we don't play bowls or join the local fishing club.  But it's still hard to get past the idea that if they just tried it, they would be there every week.

To a certain extent, that does work.  I mentioned before how impressed I was by the efforts the LTA is making to get people into tennis.  And you know what?  I could see us getting into tennis.  Not in a big way, but in a join a club, get a bit better at it, play a few fun games kind of a way.  And this is coming from someone who has never been into organised sport, and whose main memories from school are of repeatedly failing to hit the ball.  Ever.  In anything.  So they must be doing something right.

Likewise, sometimes all it takes is an invitation to church.  But it's still got to coincide with some recognition that this is important.  That it's worth the time and money that it takes.  That it provides something that is missing in our lives.

So.  Why not?  Want to give it a try?

See?  It's fun!

No comments: