Harry's battle ... and yours

A spiritual look at issues of interest to young people

Harry Potter enters the Chamber of Secrets to battle the Dark Lord, fight and destroy the deadly basilisk serpent, and save a girl's life. Talking later with Dumbledore, the head master of his school, Harry admits that he's afraid he is a little bit like the evil Dark Lord.

Dumbledore says, "It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities" ("Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets," by J.K. Rowling, pg. 333).

Harry always makes choices on the side of good, against trickery, against anything that will hurt or destroy. Harry fights against evil.

You can make the same kinds of choices. You probably won't have to destroy a venomous basilisk. But every time you put someone else's needs ahead of your own, that's standing for good. Not letting your friend get hurt is putting down evil. Saying "No" when kids want you to do something wrong is making a choice for good.

These are important battles to win. Winning them may push you. It might take courage. Do you have that kind of courage? Yes, you do. God has given it to you - everything you need to be brave and smart and caring. God is showing you in your mind what to do and how to do it.

God is like a Father. He made us to be perfect, like He is. So even though we seem to be imperfect people lots of times, we really have a perfect identity that never changes. We have a self from God that is good and knows how to make the right choices. A spiritual self that is definitely courageous and honest and trustworthy.

You could think of your God-self as being like a suit of armor keeping you safe. So, like Harry, you're prepared to stand up for good and to destroy evil - even if you aren't sure you are.

Long ago, someone described your armor as a belt of honesty and a T-shirt of righteousness (the ability to do what is right). Your shoes are your wanting to make peace. You have a shield that's a faith in God. And a helmet of goodness, and a sword that's what you know about God's power. Look in the Bible, in the book called Ephesians (6:13-18). With all this armor, you're perfectly prepared to win battles.

There are lots of battles to win every day, because you always have to make choices between good and evil, right and wrong. You win a battle when you choose to tell the truth - like when you get back too much change in the store. Or when you decide to be helpful when you see something that needs doing. Or try to be really happy for your friend because he or she did well (even though you maybe didn't).

But there are even bigger battles to win. Because there are kids around the world who are starving. Some are really sick. Some have no home. If you're willing, you can battle these evils by praying.

Here's what you can do. Every day, you can think about how God is the Father of every kid in the whole world. God isn't physical, so He can be everywhere at once. He has enough love to take care of everyone. And just like He talks inside you, He's talking to every kid (and grownup), one by one, telling them: "I love you. I'll take care of you always. I'll show you how excellently I've made you. You'll always be with me and be safe. I'll show you what to do and how to do it."

Think and pray like that every day. Trust God to take care of everyone. (You'll probably have other good ideas about how you can pray.)

Will this help? YES. You may not ever know exactly how. But "the prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective" (James 5:16, New Revised Standard Bible). You can be sure that your prayers will make a difference.

So, will you do it? Will you stand for good?

Thoughts unspoken are not

unknown to the divine Mind. Desire

is prayer; and no loss

can occur from trusting God

with our desires, that they

may be moulded and

exalted before they take form

in words and in deeds.

Mary Baker Eddy

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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