1. Confront a Bear
Okay, not literally though. Real bears can be scary if they’re facing you down in the woods, but we’re talking about the figurative “bears;” things, people, or places that are scary to confront or do in our lives. Maybe you’ve never joined an athletic team because you’re scared you might not be good at it. Or maybe you’re scared to talk to certain people in your school because you’re afraid they won’t like you. Don’t live a life of fear! Try something new this year – whether that be joining the basketball team or sitting by someone you don’t know at lunch.
Extra Credit: Deuteronomy 31:6.
2. Experience God Outside of Church
Do you know what the Church is? God says that we are the church; the body of Christ. In other words, we as Christians, together, make the body of the Church with Jesus as the head. Some people may automatically think that church is a building with painted windows, hymnals, pews, and a pastor. While that is what some church buildings look like, it’s not what we should think of when we think of church. Church can be at any time – it’s the body of Christ (us) coming together in one place to learn and worship God. So this school year, try to be involved not only in church on Sunday, but go to your church’s youth group, or be a part of your school’s Young Life. Being a part of these programs will not only be fun, but you will strengthen your relationship with Jesus by learning and experiencing Him.
Extra Credit: Ephesians 4:4, 1 Corinthians 12:12, Matthew 18:20
3. Try Applesauce in Your Mac-n-Cheese
Go on and try it! Putting applesauce in mac-n-cheese might sound a little weird -maybe even a little silly, but it’s a little taste (no pun intended) of not taking life too seriously. Somehow along the way, it has become expected to get more serious as you get older. However, God wants us to enjoy life and everything He has made! Don’t hop on that train; don’t take yourself too seriously. If you’re at Youth Group or Young Life, they’re probably going to ask you to do something silly, like feed someone cheetos with your toes, or get up in front of everyone and play a game. Just go for it! So much joy comes with not worrying about what others will think of us.
Extra Credit: Ecclesiastes 3:9-14
4. Get Free Ice-Cream
Your family, however it may look, is a blessing. This year, make time for your family. You have your friends and that’s a great thing, but don’t forget about good ol’ ma and pa. Even though it may not feel like it all the time, your parents love you. The school year can get crazy pretty fast, so don’t forget about your family! Take initiative to do something with them, whether that’s making cookies with your mom, playing a card game with your dad, or having the ‘rents take the family out for ice-cream, (tell them Camp says it’s okay). School and friends will come and go, but your family will always be with you. Make your family a priority, today.
Extra Credit: Psalm 127:3
5. Eat more Carbs
It’s scientifically proven: Carbohydrates give you energy. We all have experienced when we don’t get enough food, our bodies feel bad and don’t function very well. It’s the same with our spiritual lives. If we don’t get enough food or “bread,” (as God refers to it in the Bible), our connection with God gets fuzzy, and can cause us to not function in a way that honors God.
Ask yourself this question: “What do I do that makes me feel close to God?” Maybe it’s listening or playing music, or painting quietly in your room. Maybe it’s reading a verse in the Bible every day, or going through a daily, weekly, or even a monthly devotional. This school year, make the decision to spend time with God daily. Being a Christian is about being IN relationship with Christ. Just like we want God to be involved in our story, He wants us to be involved in HIS story too – and that begins by making God a priority.
Extra Credit: Matthew 4:4