Sunday, 1 August 2010

I am ....the Life

Every now and again someone with a lot of time on their hands and with nothing better to do comes up with some statistics from a research project they have been working on which, while interesting from a "I have nothing else to read at the moment" point of view, seems to make very little contribution to anything worthwhile. For example someone has done some research into the benefits of going to church. Statistics tell us - they say - that those who go to church generally live longer, are more healthy and content than those who do not. Here is a quote from the Independent newspaper published October 2008:

"Regular attendance at church or chapel can be as good for the health as jogging. A study at the University of Pittsburgh showed that weekly attendance at a religious service added two to three years compared with three to five for physical exercise and 2.5 to 3.5 years for people who take statins. "Regular religious attendance is comparable with commonly recommended therapies, and rough estimates suggest religious attendance may be more cost-effective than statins,'' say researchers. One theory is that it reduces stress levels or that the camaraderie increases the ability to cope with stress. A similar effect has been found for having friends. Harvard University research shows that men and women who were less likely to attend church, travel, or take part in social activities were 20 per cent more likely to die early than those who socialised the most. Those who engaged least often in activities such as work, shopping, or gardening, were 35 per cent more likely to die prematurely."

Now on the face of it one has to wonder what the point of the exercise was. Is it an attempt to get people back to church? Or is it part of mankind's search for longer life? Whatever the real reason I don't think it will significantly alter the chosen lifestyle of too many people except the self-obsessed or the obsessive. But there is one aspect of this that did make me think.

Jesus once said "I am the way, the truth and the life" (John 14:6) If Jesus is the source of life then it makes sense that the closer you get to the source of life then the more life you will have in you! Just as if you want to get warm move closer to the fire, if you want life get closer to the source of that life. Jesus.

So maybe the research wasn't a complete waste of time after all.

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