“Some believe it is only great power that can hold evil in check. But that is not what I have found. I have found that it is the small things, everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay. Simple acts of kindness and love.” (Quote popularly attributed to J.R.R. Tolkien)
A friend of mine recently sent me this quote—a reminder that for all of our grandiose plans—or feelings of futility–when it comes to addressing the problems around us, our every day, disciplined steps are often what matter. Living our faith daily, step by step. This might be especially important as we consider our healthy habits for 2020. It is much easier to set some high standard that we will do for a couple of days and forget until January 1, 2021 rather than develop a simple habit that we will keep for a lifetime.
When I think about healthy habits, or those “simple acts of kindness and love” it makes me think about how ridiculous I am when it comes to exercise. I am one of those people who takes the elevator to get to the exercise room. Honestly. I will ride the elevator for two floors so I can run and pour vast quantities of sweat onto the treadmill for the next person to walk in. But then, I will mindlessly ride the elevator rather than taking the stairs. So, I will make an investment of time into exercise, but not really make it part of my life. It is that ‘other’ category that I do when I have time.
The same can be true when it comes to our healthy spiritual habits. How often do we take the elevator rather than the stairs when it comes to practicing spiritual disciplines? Rather than setting a realistic goal that we can do everyday (ie taking the stairs), we set an unrealistic goal that will not be met (exercising for hours every day as a first step toward improved health). As I lean into 2020, I am encouraged to look at where I can ‘take the stairs’. What are some daily, healthy habits that I can start practicing to become a part of my daily walk?
The following are just a few links that you have seen come through the SDB blog. Perhaps these are just the stairs that we can start walking on as we do simple acts in 2020.
SDB Scripture Memorization: The 2019-2020 Scripture Memory Program is now available. This year’s program was developed by Conference President Rev. Kevin Butler around his Conference theme, “Fix Your Eyes on Jesus.” The program is broken into three age brackets to allow for a wide range of age groups to participate. Likewise, the program runs for 9 months of the year, but is available for both the September-May period or October-June, depending on the usage of churches. Those who wish to memorize one longer passage than the shorter ones this year are invited to memorize Hebrews 12:1-11.
SDB Week of Prayer 2020: As we did last year for the first time, we are encouraging prayers each day of the week for all countries in the world where Seventh Day Baptists exist; not just the countries which are members of the World Federation. Join us and other SDBs around the world in focused prayer this week! You can download the booklet from the SDB World Federation site here.
2020 Bible Reading Plan: Today, if you’re considering making reading more of your Bible a priority (something we encourage!), we’d like to let you know you have an opportunity to join with many others in a plan offered by our ministry partners in the National Association of Evangelicals. They have joined to support the “Year of the Bible,” which is meant to broadly increase engagement with the Word of God. For a look at this 2020 Bible Reading plan, click here.
Enjoy taking the stairs!
Grace and peace,
Carl Greene, Executive Director, SDB General Conference of USA and Canada