At The Spherical Model we have an axiom that civilization requires certain principles, but it can start with an individual, or a single family, and spread from there.
So this Christmas season Mr. Spherical Model and I are joining in with an initiative called Light the World. It’s a countdown to Christmas, an advent calendar, of service. The idea is that small, individual acts of service add up, until each tiny spark of light, combined with those tiny sparks by many many others, lights the whole world.
The initiative comes from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. You’ll understand the connection between Christ’s life and what we can do in our lives, from this beautiful little video:
This video comes in 33 languages, if you go find it at Mormon.org and look for the “Languages” drop down menu near the bottom.
There's a downloadable calendar, with a suggestion for each day, with a theme such as “Jesus Helped Others to See and So Can You,” followed by three suggestions of things you might do that day, in this case:
· Find an eyeglasses collection box and donate an old pair.
· Point out a virtue in someone they don’t see in themselves.
· Promote a vision charity on social media. You could even use the eyeglasses emoji.
That’s for December 3. Here’s another, from December 8: “Jesus Prayed for Others and So Can You”:
· Think about a friend that’s going through some rough challenges. Say a prayer for them.
· Ask God how you can be an answer to someone else’s prayer.
· When was the last time you prayed with your family? How about right now?
The ideas are mostly small, and doable without a lot of planning. And it’s up to you whether to choose these ideas, or something else—and whether to use the theme of the day or move them around to suit your life.
Some of them will be appropriate to post online, with the hashtag #LightTheWorld, so that others will be cheered and reminded, and share in the growing light. Other things might be private. You can decide.
You can print out the calendar and post it where you can see it every day. Or keep it available on your phone or other device: here.
There's a shorter version: here.
You can get a brief video related to the theme for each day: here.
Or there’s this list of random simple service ideas: here.
Research shows that if you want to develop a habit, somewhere around 14 days of daily practice is a minimum. A week ago we talked about a daily practice of giving thanks, to develop gratitude. If you add this 25-day practice of doing daily Christ-like service, you could have two life-enhancing habits by the end of the year.
While giving thanks and giving service both appear to be taking something out of you, it’s a truth about God that the most valuable things He gives us are infinite, like love; it doesn't diminish what you have when you give it to others. The more you give, the more flows into you. Your life will be more abundant when you do these giving things.
If you really want to have a happy Christmas, this daily giving of service with love is the way to get there. So this is for me—and for you. Let there be more light!