According to Father Thomas Keating, one of the pioneers of centering prayer, the 3 programmes for happiness are power, control and approval. When I analyse my decision making I can recognise one of these needs taking precedence. These are legitimate needs for living but when our happiness depends on them in the face of lack we can find ourselves moving away from the centre of who we really are. At any cost we hanker after at least one of these 3 things as though our lives depend on it. We become imbalanced and self oriented.
One of my favourite songs with children is "God is good to me". During the song, when referring to God, we point to the sky. Sadly this is what we so often associate with God - distant and somewhere out beyond the blue. I would say God is not somewhere but (as my spell check refutes also) someHere. With this in mind I now encourage the children to open their arms and indicate that God is not there (up in the sky) but here with us always available to help us to be the loving best we can be.
My latest two assemblies are, to me, what represent what being a Christian is all about. They are both use terms introduced by Jesus and are instinctively true for us all. The first is "The Golden Rule" and the second "Going the extra mile". In the Golden Rule assembly I ask children to decide from a list of rules which ones they consider serious and those they reckon are silly. They range from "Don't help someone on a Saturday" to "Do not bully".