(Resource Pack 35) KEY STAGE 2

VISUAL AID: A running medal

The aim here is to help children to believe in themselves and their abilities, and to inspire them never to give up trying

let me tell you one of my husband’s memories. I love hearing this tale, which took place in a little Methodist chapel, not far from here, in Gibson Street, Willington Square, where the school netball courts are now.

It was the Sunday School Anniversary(explain) in the evening, and Bob was only about three years old, when he heard the sound of the ice-cream man van outside, right in the middle of the prayer time.

From his place at the front of the church, he made his way to his mam who was busy praying.

As she wasn’t on the end of the row he had to squeeze along to ask his question…which was, ‘Ice-cream mammy, ice-cream?’

She tried at first to ignore him, but this was much too important, so he asked again,

‘Ice-cream mammy, ice-cream?’

So she tried to explain to him that he should go BACK to his place, as she was busy praying.

But he was not to be deterred…

‘Ice-cream mammy, ice-cream?’ obviously she hadn’t understood his need…

Needless to say at that point she left the church, in a rush, without the congregation having the pleasure of hearing him say his poem:

‘I am a little soldier,

I’m only three years old.

I mean to fight for Jesus

and wear a crown of gold!’

He was marched home, in disgrace, and he was very, very upset. But he had tried so hard to achieve an ice-cream. His dream had been crushed.

Comment upon Paula Radcliffe being forced to give up as she ran the Olympic marathon race. (For full script see my free assemblies book: But It’s Only Nine o’ Clock in the Morning)

Rather than try to hard to do our best we should be like the starfish. Steady and persistent.

A starfish’s favourite food is the oyster, which is exceedingly difficult to open.

So how does a starfish manage this difficult feat?

Well, it spreads itself out and attaches its feet to the top and the under-side of the oyster shell; having done this it exerts a very gentle pull.

The oyster, aware of this attempt to open it, immediately applies all of the power of its hinge muscle to keep itself firmly shut.

The star-fish is not deterred; it just keeps on pulling very gently, hour after hour.

Eventually the oyster, just like the unjust judge, has to give in. It cannot keep up such a mighty effort indefinitely; the hinge muscle relaxes and the shell opens and the starfish gets its reward.

READING: Philippians 3. 12-14