On his 90th birthday, Alec Holden went down to his local “bookie” and bet £100 that he would live to 100. Ten years later, he returned to the bookie and collected £25,000. The media asked Mr. Holden for the secret of his longevity. I am sure there was a twinkle in his eye when he replied, “I keep breathing. If you stop breathing, you’re in real trouble.”
This is also good advice for our spiritual lives. We must keep spiritually breathing—otherwise we are in real trouble. We need the spiritual life-giving oxygen that comes only from Jesus—through prayer, Bible study, and service.
I like the slogan “Revival for Mission.” But in an important sense, revival also comes through mission. Ellen White tells of a man who collapsed in the snow, ready to die. But as he lay there he heard the moans of a nearby fellow traveler. Immediately, he reached out and began chafing the man’s frozen limbs, trying to restore life.
Mrs. White says that the man discovered something profound: “in saving his neighbor, he had saved himself.” By ministering to his neighbor, he kept the blood flowing in his own veins, and revived himself.* Solomon summarized it well: “Whoever refreshes others will be refreshed” (Prov. 11:25, NIV).
--Gary Krause is Director of the Office of Adventist Mission At the General Conference of Seventh-Day Adventists.
* Ellen G. White, Testimonies for the Church, vol. 4, (Mountain View, CA: Pacific Press Pub. Assn., 1948), 319.