This morning I read a very fascinating study called the "Blue Zone" by Gianni Pes and Michael Poulain. This study identifies demographic and/or geographic areas of the world where people live measurably longer lives. The regions with the highest concentration of male centenarians ("Blue Zones") include Okinawa (Japan); Sardinia (Italy); Nicoya (Costa Rica); Icaria (Greece); and the Seventh-day Adventists in Loma Linda, California. Why do these people live healthier and longer lives? According to their study, there are nine keys:
- Moderate, regular physical activity.
- Life purpose.
- Stress reduction.
- Moderate calories intake.
- Plant-based diet.
- Low alcohol intake, especially wine.
- Engagement in spirituality or religion.
- Engagement in family life.
- Engagement in social life.
Looking over the list, I realize that being an active member of Johns Creek Presbyterian Church can enhance nearly all nine keys, so maybe our church property could be considered a "Blue Zone." After all, life here at church is about engaging people of all ages in community, where we heavy-laden people lay our burdens at the feet of Jesus as we worship and serve together. Church is a place where we seek to perfect the art of loving and finding purpose in our daily work. Church is where the concept of "family" is expanded. We even have a ball field where we can engage in recreational activity. I suppose the one area that could use some work here is #4 and #5, as we Presbyterians love to eat, especially when there is fried chicken at the church pot luck! So raise a glass to long, happy lives!
An old Sardinian man
Jesus said to them, "Very truly, I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. Whoever enters by me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly."
Prayer for Today
O God, help us to have long, healthy, abundant lives as we commit ourselves to your community, the church. Amen.