My favorite recess

A spiritual look at issues of interest to young people

When I was in fourth grade, and we had recess, all the kids in my class would go out to the playground and swing on the swings or play games.

But I didn't think it was that much fun. I was new in the school and didn't have a lot of friends. The games would just start to get interesting and we'd have to go back inside.

I don't remember how it started, but my best friend and I started to make pictures during recess. That was great! There were tubes of brilliantly colored glitter. We'd make designs with glue and lightly sprinkle on just the right mix of glitter to create beautiful outlines and shapes. I started looking forward to recess. It became the best part of the day.

Sometimes the teacher tried to get us to play outside. But we would show her our collection of beautiful pictures and tell her how much we loved making them. And she let us play with the sparkles every day until I moved to another school.

God is giving you and me beautiful pictures. They're pictures in our mind. Everyone can get all the ideas they need from God, and all His ideas are beautiful. We can have them every day. Part of a sentence I like to think about says that God gives us "beautiful images of thought" (Mary Baker Eddy, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," pg. 248).

There are lots of ways to see beauty. Today I saw my cat curled up on a comforter that had fallen onto the floor. He looked so contented snuggled in it. There was a perfectly blue sky with bright sunshine sparkling. The pear trees were starting to pop with white flowers, and the hillside across the street looked like a white cloud. Some of my friends gave me a hug at church this morning. It seemed like everyone smiled at me today. It was really a great day.

When I get ready for bed, I like to look at the "beautiful images of thought" that came during the day. I enjoy them again, just as I enjoyed looking at my sparkle pictures more than one time.

Sometimes I think about beautiful images of thought that aren't made up of people or animals or things, but just feelings. Feeling good is that kind of image. So is feeling happy and cared for.

Thinking thoughts about God is like that, really. There are an endless number of qualities of God, including peace, joy, grace, gentleness, purity, might. They're like an endless rainbow of colors. These qualities of God, like those sparkles, form an endless variety of beautiful pictures when glued together in our thinking.

What if it seems hard to see beautiful images? Well, you can start remembering that God is supplying them. He is pouring out good thoughts like a fountain pours out sparkling water. To find them, you sometimes have to turn away from darkness and unhappiness, and toward God. This is actually praying. Praying is turning toward what's beautiful and good. Then it is impossible not to see it!

I still take recess every day. And I still don't go out to the playground. Instead I pray. I turn to God until I see beautiful images of thought. During my recess I also read the Bible and/or Science and Health. Often I will write down a sentence I've read and put it on my desk. Then for the rest of the day, I can look again and again at this beautiful image and let it lift me up.

Beautiful images of thought can make you more than just happy. They can even heal you. If you ever feel sick, turn to God and let Him fill your thought with them. You'll find yourself feeling better.

As it says in the Bible, God has "made every thing beautiful in his time" (Eccl. 3:11). Try taking a recess every day, to find the ideas He's giving out.

Finally, my friends, keep

your minds on whatever is true, pure, right, holy, friendly, and proper. Don't ever stop thinking about what is truly worthwhile and worthy of praise.

Philippians 4:8

(Contemporary English Version)

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