February 3, 2020

Inspiration or Perspiration?

I don't think that the longevity of Seventh-Day Adventists is linked exclusively to a healthful diet.

Jared Thurmon

There is nothing so powerful as an idea whose time has come.”—Victor Hugo.

I love ideas, especially disruptive ones. In a world more and more automated, streamlined, and similar, I find the common ingredient of success in many industries to be that of contrarianism.

Some shy away from standing out in this world. Society’s anthem shouts, “Blend in; do what everyone else is doing, saying, drinking, wearing, vaping, watching.”

No business today succeeds just by going with the flow and doing what others have done or are doing.

To give a better idea as to why contrarian thinking is so important, consider these facts: 87 percent of Fortune 500 companies in 1955 are no longer on the list today. What was once a 75-year life expectancy for a Fortune 500 company is now projected to be 15 years or less.

I don’t think that the longevity of Seventh-day Adventists is linked exclusively to a healthful diet.

Look at some of the most prominent brands in the world today.

Uber is a huge player in the transportation sector, yet it is not built on owning any vehicles. Airbnb is the heavyweight in the lodging/hotel space, yet it owns no hotels or real estate. Netflix envisioned a world in which DVDs were no longer needed and now is the king of content-streaming platforms.

Sabbath in a World of Status Quo

The best idea around in these days of constant go, go, go, is a “new” holiday in our calendar every . . . single . . . week. We need one day each week in which we unplug from the digital matrix and plug into the real world. Before I say more about this special holiday, allow me to explain two options for living life to the fullest.

Origin and Worldview

The first option is to believe in evolution and the idea that the Cambrian explosion formed the foundation of all life. Motto: survival of the fittest. The answer: perspiration.

But if our worldview begins with nothing and ends with a planet flourishing with life and highly complex ecosystems six days later, all at the voice and hands of a personal God, then we have a different foundation on which to build. Inspiration is the answer.

We find the idea of Sabbath at the very beginning of the story of the earth and humanity per the account in the book of Genesis.

In the hustle and bustle of this world, Sabbath—the seventh day of the week—is a helpful reminder to disconnect from the noise and reconnect with God. It is a reminder to cease from our work and let God continue to work. It is a reminder to be still and know that God is God.

I don’t think that the longevity of Seventh-day Adventists is linked exclusively to a healthful diet. The Sabbath is a lot more interconnected than we give it credit. Think about it: in an average 70-year life span, Adventists have taken a holiday every seven days. That equates to 10 years less wear and tear of mind, body, and soul. Who wouldn’t like to live seven to 10 years longer?

It’s an idea whose time has come!

Jared Thurmon is liaison for strategic partnerships at Adventist Review Ministries.