“You’re going to make us late again,” Opal yells down the hall with one arm in her hoodie and the other holding the door jam. She feels like squeezing the white, wooden beam gives her more bravado, emphasizing her growing frustration with her slow-moving brother.
“I’m not going,” Henry calls back.
Opal hears rustling and drawers opening and closing. She quickly moves down the hall to see what Henry is doing instead of getting ready for youth group. Henry used to love youth group. It was almost all he would talk about; he would count down the days to Wednesday like most people countdown to Friday. “What’s going on in here, Henry? Are you finally running away?” Opal asks jokingly.
“Ha, ha-not funny,” Henry snaps back. “I want to go to the gym to play basketball with my new friends.”
“Well, I’m going to tell Mom and see what she has to say about it,” Opal says.
“I’m old enough to make my own decisions about youth group, Opal,” Henry replies.
Opal races downstairs with Henry moving faster than she’s seen him move in months. “Mom, Henry isn’t going to youth group, he’s going to play basketball with his new friends at the Y,” Opal tattles.
“What’s all this now,” Mom asks. “Is this true, Henry? You want to go to the Y tonight instead of youth group? This is very much not like you at all, what’s going on, bud?”
“I’ve been to youth group a million times, Mom. I want to play basketball and maybe lift weights with my new friends. If I want to play football next year, I need to get buff and in shape,” Henry tries to negotiate his position. Opal snorts, holding back laughter before a look from Mom snubs out her snarkiness so it doesn’t cause a fight between the two siblings.
“Oh, you want to get fit, do you?” Mom asks.
“Yeah, Mom! You get it!” Henry replies.
“So on a scale of 1-10, how fit do you think you are right now?” asks Mom.
“What, I don’t know – maybe a 6?” says Henry. “I’ve definitely got some room for improvement. But I’m not going to get closer to a 10 unless I work at it.”
“I get your point. Another question for you: on a scale of 1-10, how spiritually fit would you say you are?” asks Mom with a smirk. She can tell by the look on Henry’s face that this is the turning point of his argument.
“I see what your saying, Mom,” Henry admits.
“If we’re not spiritually fit, Henry, then we have nothing-literally. How do you think you get spiritually fit? Going to the gym? Because we do that 3-4 days per week for your homeschool P.E. Technically, if that were true, you’d be spiritually ripped by now!” Mom jokes.
“You get spiritually fit by reading the Bible and connecting with God,” Opal offers. “You can do it too, by having fellowship with other believers and in prayer. Doesn’t the Bible say that if two or more gather in His name, He is with them?” Opal asks.
“That’s Mathew 18:20,” Mom adds.
“You guys are right, the youth group is more important than the gym. I will call the guys and tell them I’ll meet up with them tomorrow.” Henry says.
“Good call, Henry – get spiritually fit, then get physically fit,” says Opal.
Weekly Bible Verse: For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. -1 Timothy 4:8 NIV
Note to Nibble: While physical fitness is healthy, spiritual fitness should take priority.