Day 20 · Perform service
“Sacrifice is arguably the manliest of virtues.”
It’s not. It’s one of the greatest virtues full stop. There’s no reason given why sacrifice should be confined to manliness. And nor should there be, because it’s not. I know I refer to my family a lot but it’s all I know. One of the greatest acts of sacrifice that I’ve seen in my life recently is the way my wife sacrificed her own body to carry our child. The sickness, the vomiting, the tiredness, the bodily changes, the aches, the trauma of labour and birth, the recuperation, the surgery. And that’s not even taking into account the long journey back to health, both physically and mentally while dealing with a new-born. I wouldn’t say that any of the sacrifice my wife made was manly. That isn’t even to say that pregnancy is the only way a woman shows sacrifice, it’s just one that I’ve experienced recently.
Sacrifice is divine. It’s a part of our story as Christians; we are who we are because of God’s earth-shaking sacrifice. Romans 5:8: “But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
I can’t fault AoM in encouraging me to engage in service. That’s another part of what it means to be a Christian. Being committed to a local church is a great way to serve as it seeks to meet the needs of the community it finds itself in.
Day 21 · Write your own eulogy
As I read today’s entry I couldn’t help but think of an episode of Friends. In The One With The Memorial Service, Chandler and Monica host a get-together for their not-so-dead brother to see who would turn up. “Ooooo, my first mourner!” exclaims Ross as the door is knocked.
I can’t help but roll my eyes at the idea of writing my own eulogy. There’s a limit to the amount of naval-gazing I can handle, and this crosses the line. “You’re so far past the line, you can’t even see the line. The line is a dot to you.” Okay, enough Friends references.
If I’m going to write anything, it’s going to more letters after being encouraged to write to my dad last week.
Day 22 · Improve your posture
One of the great mistakes many Christians make is the separation of the spirit and body – something God never did. Often times our spirit follows our body. Should we look after our body, we find ourselves in a better mood and healthier. If good posture helps our bodies function better, then I’m in. There’s not much more to add after that.
One note, and I fear I’m beginning to sound like a broken record. It shouldn’t only be men that have good posture. Why wouldn’t women aim for it too?
Day 23 · Learn a manual skill
Sometimes I lament the fact that I can’t do half of the DIY my dad can do. Our church has recently been given a building that belonged to a church which packed it in. It has required a lot of work and our congregation has been getting stuck in. On a recent workday that we organised, I asked people what they were good at upon arrival. We were in need of carpenters, plumbers, metal workers, roofers, electricians, etc. All but two of our crew had to make do with painting due to the lack of abilities in the world of remodelling and construction. No surprise as our demographic is mainly made up of millennials. Good on photoshop? Check. Good at setting insulation? Not so much.
I don’t have time to learn a manual skill today because I have to go to work and write about learning a manual skill. I’ll also spend my day emailing writers, curating with my threads team, organising our social media and sourcing images for our site. I’m such a millennial. Is there an app for learning how to change car oil?
Day 24 · Play!
I feel like I’ve got this covered. My weekly five-aside football on Monday nights. It’s been a staple for years now and I hate missing it. My one-year-old son isn’t so good at football, or table tennis, but he’s getting better at hide-and-seek. So we play that a lot.
Day 25 · Start a debt repayment plan
As a people who are defined by the repayment of our debts by another, we should understand debt more than most. As mentioned last week in the conversation on budgeting, money was one of the significant conversations that my wife and I were encouraged to have before we got married.
Thankfully, we’re in a place where we have very little debt and that which we do have has been managed well. We found the work of Martin Lewis and the team at moneysavingexpert.com in working out how to make the most of balance transfers and kick out high interest rates. I’d recommend having a look there for superb advice on dealing with debt.
Day 26 · Take a Marine Corps fitness test
Ugh. I can feel the dread setting in already. Once upon a time I used to be fit. Now though, it’s going to be a tough one. I broke my arm just over a year ago and have only being playing five-aside with a two-mile cycle to work every day and I convince myself that I’m still in good shape because I can still pin my little brothers even though they are pretty fit. But I know that’s a lie just because I’ve got an extra stone or two on them. I’ll report back next week. Anyone else fancy taking this to see what score they get?