Discover more from Ben Simpson's Faith & Formation Newsletter
Begin with the end in mind.
This past weekend I ran my first 5k race in a few years. Molly joined me. We made a plan, and stuck to it.
The “Zoo Stampede,” is a 5k/10k fundraiser for the Cameron Park Zoo. Molly and I signed up as a way to get active, to give us a goal, and to do something together.
We wanted to be ready. We knew the distance we’d have to travel on race day. To prepare we worked backward, and outlined incremental increases that would help us to build a little bit of endurance by race day. We ran a slow pace. We stuck together. The weather couldn’t have been better. And we crossed the finish line together.
If you want to accomplish anything, envision where you want to go. Picture what success looks like. Then, reverse engineer the process.
If you want to pray for an hour, start with one minute. Then go to two. Then increase to five. Then sit down for ten, and so on. If you want to read the Bible in one year, figure out how many chapters per day you will need to read each day. Then do it. If you want to go to church every Sunday you aren’t sick or out of town. Start with one Sunday. Then make it two. Make a chain. Keep adding links.
I had a simple goal for this 5k race. Sign up, maintain more than a walking pace, stick with Molly, and cross the finish line.
The principles for success here translate. Train. Keep your commitments. Work the steps. Then celebrate.
In addition to Peter Brown’s Augustine of Hippo, I’m reading Russell F. Weigley’s The American Way of War. Reading work has been slow. I’ve received a slew of new books, including Tom Nelson’s The Flourishing Pastor, Rodney Reeves’s Spirituality According to John, and Felicia Wu Song’s Restless Devices: Recovering Personhood, Presence, and Place in a Digital Age.
Sights and Sounds
Last week I watched Army of Thieves (2021) and Army of the Dead. I liked the zombie movie more than the heist movie.
On Wednesday night I saw Snake Eyes: G. I. Joe Origins, and, well, I didn’t think it was very good.
On the blog: I shared thoughts on the moral significance of bringing children into the world, a poem I liked, chalk art in my neighborhood, and our present disorder and how Christian leaders can respond.
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Be well this week. Bless others.
P.S. - The race plan.