Tuesday, 15 September 2015

We were made to thrive

The spiritual life theme for the 2015/2016 school year at Smithville Christian High School is “THRIVE.”
Borrowing from the Casting Crowns song, “Thrive,” spiritual life director Gord Park told students that they were created for much more than mere survival.

“You were created and born to thrive,” Park said. Being a Christian is “not just a get-out-of-fire-free card that you put in your wallet and then wait and wait for years because you are going to go to heaven some day. You were created and born to know God and to make him known,” he said.

Just as a seedling can only thrive when it is positioned to have the right soil, sunlight and water, so we must position ourselves to ensure we have the right conditions to thrive, Park said. One of the ways in which we can do that is to follow the teaching of Jesus in the parable of the sheep and the goats (Matthew 25:31-46). Jesus said whenever we care for the hungry, the poor or the imprisoned, we are caring for him. That means if we are caring for someone, we are in the presence of God, and when we are in the presence of God, we thrive.
Park said many of Jesus’ miracles occurred when Jesus had compassion on those who needed his help. Similarly, when we respond with compassion to those around us, “that’s when miracles happen.”
Park told a story about a group of teenagers who travelled this summer with a Serve team and who were assigned to help an elderly woman with painting and clean-up at her house. At the end of the week the woman testified to the teenagers’ compassion and caring, and she told the students how she had prayed in desperation for help. In their simple acts of painting some walls or trimming some weeds, they had been the answer to her prayers.
“If you are made to thrive, the opportunity is here at school every day,” Park said. “In the ordinary moments, when Christ allows you to feel his heart for that situation, you are thriving.”
We have daily opportunities to show compassion and understanding, to smile, to introduce ourselves to someone new or to pray with someone who is having a bad day.
When we do these things we help others to thrive. “And because you brought compassion, you are thriving too.”

Students are still auditioning for this year's praise teams, so we were led in worship by a staff praise team. We sang "10,000 Reasons" and "Blessed be the Name." 

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