Larger font
Smaller font

The Adventist Home

 - Contents
  • Results
  • Related
  • Featured
No results found for: "".
  • Weighted Relevancy
  • Content Sequence
  • Relevancy
  • Earliest First
  • Latest First
    Larger font
    Smaller font

    Chapter 81—Recreation that Yields Enduring Satisfactions

    Exercise That Develops Hand, Mind, and Character—The greatest benefit is not gained from exercise that is taken as play or exercise merely. There is some benefit derived from being in the fresh air and also from the exercise of the muscles; but let the same amount of energy be given to the performance of helpful duties, and the benefit will be greater, and a feeling of satisfaction will be realized; for such exercise carries with it the sense of helpfulness and the approval of conscience for duty well done.1Fundamentals of Christian Education, 418.AH 506.1

    In the children and youth an ambition should be awakened to take their exercise in doing something that will be beneficial to themselves and helpful to others. The exercise that develops mind and character, that teaches the hands to be useful and trains the young to bear their share of life's burdens, is that which gives physical strength and quickens every faculty. And there is a reward in virtuous industry, in the cultivation of the habit of living to do good.2Ibid., 418, 419.AH 506.2

    No recreation helpful only to themselves will prove so great a blessing to the children and youth as that which makes them helpful to others. Naturally enthusiastic and impressible, the young are quick to respond to suggestion.3Education, 212.AH 506.3

    Jesus’ Example as a Youth—The life of Jesus was filled with industry, and He took exercise in performing varied tasks in harmony with His developing physical strength. In doing the work that was marked out for Him, He had no time for indulgence in exciting, useless amusements. He took no part in that which would poison the moral and lower the physical tone, but was trained in useful labor and even for the endurance of hardship.4The Youth's Instructor, July 27, 1893.AH 506.4

    In His earth life Christ was an example to all the human family, and He was obedient and helpful in the home. He learned the carpenter's trade and worked with His own hands in the little shop at Nazareth....AH 507.1

    The Bible says of Jesus, “And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon Him.” As He worked in childhood and youth, mind and body were developed. He did not use His physical powers recklessly, but gave them such exercise as would keep them in health, that He might do the best work in every line. He was not willing to be defective, even in the handling of tools. He was perfect as a workman, as He was perfect in character. By precept and example Christ has dignified useful labor.5Fundamentals of Christian Education, 417, 418.AH 507.2

    Refreshment Through Variation of Labor—Young men should remember that they are accountable for all the privileges they have enjoyed, for the improvement of their time, and for the right use of their abilities. They may inquire, Shall we have no amusement or recreation? Shall we work, work, work, without any variation?6Counsels to Teachers, Parents, and Students, 337.AH 507.3

    A change from physical labor that has taxed the strength severely may be very necessary for a time, that they may again engage in labor, putting forth exertion with greater success. But entire rest may not be necessary or even be attended with the best results so far as their physical strength is concerned. They need not, even when weary with one kind of labor, trifle away their precious moments. They may then seek to do something not so exhausting but which will be a blessing to their mother and sisters. In lightening their cares by taking upon themselves the roughest burdens they have to bear, they can find that amusement which springs from principle and which will yield them true happiness, and their time will not be spent in trifling or in selfish indulgence. Their time may be ever employed to advantage, and they be constantly refreshed with variation, and yet be redeeming the time so that every moment will tell with good account to someone.7Testimonies for the Church 3:223.AH 507.4

    Many claim that it is necessary for the preservation of physical health to indulge in selfish amusement. It is true that change is required for the best development of the body, for mind and body are refreshed and invigorated by change; but this object is not gained by indulgence in foolish amusements, to the neglect of daily duties which the youth should be required to do.8The Youth's Instructor, July 27, 1893.AH 508.1

    A Program for Students That God Blessed—We are to educate the youth to exercise equally the mental and the physical powers. The healthful exercise of the whole being will give an education that is broad and comprehensive.AH 508.2

    We had stern work to do in Australia in educating parents and youth along these lines; but we persevered in our efforts until the lesson was learned that in order to have an education that was complete, the time of study must be divided between the gaining of book knowledge and the securing of a knowledge of practical work.AH 508.3

    Part of each day was spent in useful work, the students learning how to clear the land, how to cultivate the soil and to build houses in time that would otherwise have been spent in playing games and seeking amusement. And the Lord blessed the students who thus devoted their time to learning lessons of usefulness.9Letter 84, 1909.AH 508.4

    God has provided useful employments for the development of health, and these useful employments will also qualify students to be a help to themselves and to others.10The Review and Herald, October 25, 1898.AH 509.1

    In the place of providing diversions that merely amuse, arrangements should be made for exercises that will be productive of good.11Pamphlet Recreation, 47.AH 509.2

    Missionary Activity Is an Ideal Exercise—There are plenty of necessary, useful things to do in our world that would make the pleasure amusement exercise almost wholly unnecessary. Brain, bone, and muscle will acquire solidity and strength in using them to a purpose, doing good, hard thinking, and devising plans which shall train them to develop powers of intellect and strength of the physical organs, which will be putting into practical use their God-given talents with which they may glorify God.12Notebook Leaflets from the Elmshaven Library Vol. 1, Education, 97.AH 509.3

    It is our duty ever to seek to do good in the use of the muscles and brain God has given to youth, that they may be useful to others, making their labors lighter, soothing the sorrowing, lifting up the discouraged, speaking words of comfort to the hopeless, turning the minds of the students from fun and frolic which often carries them beyond the dignity of manhood and womanhood to shame and disgrace. The Lord would have the mind elevated, seeking higher, nobler channels of usefulness.13Ibid., 98.AH 509.4

    The same power of exercise of mind and muscle might invent ways and means of altogether a higher class of exercise, in doing missionary work which would make them laborers together with God, and would be educating for higher usefulness in the present life, in doing useful work, which is a most essential branch in education....AH 509.5

    Is not this the work that every youth should be seeking to do, working in Christ's lines? You have Christ's help. The ideas of the students will broaden. They will be far reaching, and the powers of usefulness, even in your student's life, will be continually growing. The arms, the hands, which God has given, are to be used in doing good which shall bear the signet of heaven, that you can at last hear the “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”14Ibid., 97, 98.AH 510.1

    A Prescription for Invalids—I have been instructed that as the sick are encouraged to leave their rooms and spend time in the open air, tending the flowers or doing some other light, pleasant work, their minds will be called from self to something more health giving. Open-air exercise should be prescribed as a beneficial, life-giving necessity.15Medical Ministry, 234.AH 510.2

    We can but be cheerful as we listen to the music of the happy birds and feast our eyes upon flourishing fields and gardens. We should invite our minds to be interested in all the glorious things God has provided for us with a liberal hand. And in reflecting upon these rich tokens of His love and care, we may forget infirmities, be cheerful, and make melody in our hearts unto the Lord.16The Health Reformer, July, 1871.AH 510.3

    For years I have from time to time been shown that the sick should be taught that it is wrong to suspend all physical labor in order to regain health. In thus doing the will becomes dormant, the blood moves sluggishly through the system and constantly grows more impure. Where the patient is in danger of imagining his case worse than it really is, indolence will be sure to produce the most unhappy results. Well-regulated labor gives the invalid the idea that he is not totally useless in the world, that he is at least of some benefit. This will afford him satisfaction, give him courage, and impart to him vigor, which vain mental amusements can never do.17Testimonies for the Church 1:555.AH 510.4

    God's Provision for Finding True Pleasures—God has provided for everyone pleasure that may be enjoyed by rich and poor alike—the pleasure found in cultivating pureness of thought and unselfishness of action, the pleasure that comes from speaking sympathizing words and doing kindly deeds. From those who perform such service, the light of Christ shines to brighten lives darkened by many sorrows.18Testimonies for the Church 9:57.AH 511.1

    Larger font
    Smaller font