School is over, and students are doing summer vacation kinds of things, such as biking and swimming, cutting grass and baby-sitting, traveling, and hanging out with friends.
Looking back at their school year, some students I know see a lot of things they are proud of making the basketball and football team, doing better in their classes, making good grades, and giving great performances in school musical productions. They can see they've grown spiritually, too. They know more about God and themselves as His children.
They are going to high school next year a new school, new friends, new teachers, and lots of other new things. They want to be successful, of course. They talked about what they wanted out of school next year. Most of them said they wanted to do well academically. One girl wanted to develop her talents and take next steps in performing, another wanted to use her talents to help others, and several hoped to be chosen for sports teams.
Your own goals for the next school year are probably not much different than these. Can you expect to achieve these goals? Yes, you can.
You can be successful. You're God's child. Your individuality is God-defined. God makes you to be spiritual and perfect and expresses in you His spiritual qualities. You have talents, skills, and intelligence from God. In fact, you have every good quality from God, in a specific design, so that you are totally special. No one else is just like you. And because of this, you have a special purpose at your school.
Jesus said that he didn't do anything on his own power. He was making clear that all the wonderful things he did were really caused by God. He did God's work. He knew that his abilities came from God and that he was guided and directed by God to help and heal people.
You can know what Jesus knew. You, too, have talents and abilities from God. You have a special place and purpose at your school. And God will show you what it is and help you to do what He made you to do. You can be grateful for your special talents. They will develop as you use them.
You are important because of your special way of expressing God. When you're expressing God and His qualities, of course you will be a success.
Being good is natural to you. Goodness is one of those qualities you get from God. So you don't need to become good; you already are. And because God makes you that way, your goodness can never be lost or taken away. You can pray to God to see more and more of your goodness.
You can always take your questions about what to do, or who to be with, or how to have fun, straight to God. Then if you listen, you'll know in your heart what is the right answer. God loves you and is always taking care of you.
When I first went to high school, my grade school friends started smoking. I didn't want to do that, so we weren't friends anymore. I didn't really know about God at that time. But God still took care of me. I soon found new best friends at my high school. We had lots of fun without smoking. And the six of us are still friends, many years later.
The founder of the Monitor, Mary Baker Eddy, wrote in her book, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures": "To hold yourself superior to sin, because God made you superior to it and governs man, is true wisdom. To fear sin is to misunderstand the power of Love and the divine Science of being in man's relation to God, to doubt His government and distrust His omnipotent care (pg. 231). All the power of God is helping you to be good. And you can be sure that being good and having fun fit together perfectly.
You can pray each day this summer with these ideas. It's a great way to prepare for next year. Right now you can think of next year as a big gift-wrapped box from God. You don't know what's in the box yet, but you can be sure it's filled with good times, good friends, and good progress all because of God's love for you.
Thou, Lord, hast made
me glad through thy work:
I will triumph in the
works of thy hands.