My friend Chris is a great basketball player. He usually ends up being the star of the game. But before he plays, his stomach gets upset.
School is a different thing for Chris. He's not a star in class. In fact, he worries about tests and is afraid he won't know the right thing to say when the teacher calls on him. His grades aren't so good.
Chris's mom gave him a silver cross. The cross isn't something magic, but it does help Chris think about God being with him and helping him, the way He helped Jesus. When Chris remembers that he's with God, he's not so afraid.
If you're like Chris, you can remember the same thing at school or when you're playing sports. You can think about God and how He's right where you are. God is always loving you. When you think about Him, you find that He's there taking care of you, and that He is always showing you the right thing to do.
Here's something else you can do: memorize a Bible verse, or write it on a card that goes in your pocket or your backpack. The Bible verse will keep you thinking about God and what is true about you. This will help you.
You may already have a favorite Bible verse. If you don't, here are just some you could choose from (the Bible has hundreds of them!):
*This verse is from Isaiah: "Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness" (41:10). You can think of this as God talking to you, telling you not to be afraid because He will help you with everything you do. God is more powerful than anything! And His power is always at work. With God's help you can do well in whatever you have to do.
*Psalm 119:73. It says, "Thy hands have made me and fashioned me." This will remind you that God made you. The Bible also says that everything God made was "very good" (Gen. 1:31). He didn't make some of us good at things like basketball or school, and others not good at anything. No, God made each of us to express Him. God uses us to do good things - things He wants us to do. God gives us intelligence. And strength. And happiness.
*Another verse from Psalms. This one is a good one to take with you every day: "For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways" (91:11). There's a book about the Bible that says angels are really God's thoughts (see pg. 581 of "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," by Mary Baker Eddy). Angels are always smart, happy, comforting, strong, and useful thoughts. They're always good because God is always good. If you're in a tough or scary situation, you can stop. Ask God to tell you what you need to know or to do. Then listen. You might not hear God's thoughts if you're talking or worrying or thinking something bad about yourself or anyone else. But if you keep thinking about God, there will be less and less room for those bad thoughts, and then you'll be more and more sure to hear what God is telling you.
*Here's one more: "The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore" (Ps. 121:8). You're with God all day long, every day. God is with you at the beginning and the end of a class, in the morning and the afternoon of a school day, from the start of a basketball game to the final score. (And right in the middle of it, too!) So there's no time when you're alone, on your own. That word preserve can mean "to keep safe." Because you're always with God, you're always safe.
Do you really like one of these Bible verses? Write it down! Memorize it! Think about it wherever you are! When you think about your Father-Mother, God, and how much He/She loves you, you won't be afraid. Then you can do school or sports - or whatever. And do it well.
Our help is in
the name of the Lord,
who made heaven
(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society