Friday, June 12, 2009

Getting the balance right

KS 3/4
Equipment: Game of Jenga (preferably outdoor Jenga)

(at the beginning, have two children silently playing a game of Jenga. They must not make it fall until you ask them to do so at the very end)

Story of Ruth Lawrence. At age 11 she entered Oxford university and at age 13 she graduated with a starred first class degree (a sort of level 562 at SATS. Problem was that she had lived, breathed, eaten maths.

Since then Oxford have a minimum age of admission, however brainy someone might be.

Why? Because they recognise the need to have balance in your life. Someone who does maths every minute of every day until they are 13 is not going to be a very rounded person.

We need balance:
eg. dieting/eating; talking/listening; watching tv, playing on the Wii/going outside; fitness/rest; spending/saving/giving; sport/studies; being on our own/being with other people; work/play; acting/praying

Big in-phrase at the moment: the work/life balance.
We need balance between body/mind

Having said that, if you wish to become really good at something you need to give it more time and more commitment then you would give to something else: music, football, ballet dancer, gymnast, academic (but perhaps just for a few years).

It is really difficult knowing when to get the balance, how to get the balance, and keep the balance.

Life really can be a bit like a game of Jenga - we need wisdom to know what to do next.
We need wisdom for living

Christians believe that the bible helps:

Psalm 119:9, "How can those who are young keep their way pure? By living according to your word"
Psalm 111:10, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding"

And Jesus says that he is the cornerstone on which we should build our lives.

(talk with children playing Jenga and ask them which is the cornerstone)

If I trust in Jesus,
  • I pray to him and he does guide me and does give wisdom
  • I read his book and it does give great guidance
  • If the thing I really want to happen doesn't happen (I don't become a professional footballer; I don't become a chief executive), it is not the end of the world
  • If it all crashes around you (Jenga tower falls) - it doesn't matter: you can still rebuild on the cornerstone.

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