Where are you headed in life? You may not even be thinking about it at the moment, but one day you will start to think about it. Many people ask themselves what they are doing in life, whether their life makes any difference at all.
When you set out on a journey, you may well look at a map or a SatNav (GPS). For example, to get to the house of one of my relatives, I have to go to Birmingham and navigate my way there. Even if I know the way somewhere, there is a start and there is a finish. This is like our life: all of us have been born and all of us will die. Like any journey, there may be unexpected twists, good and bad things. But the questions are whether you enjoy the journey ans whether you know where you're going. For too many people, they are like a driver who goes for a drive but doesn't know where they're going and drives around in circles going nowhere fast!
In the background - play a song or mix
Play a song or a mix that lasts around the time of the assembly, or if you're uncertain about the length of the assembly, play a normal length track. You'll know what kind of track will go down well within your school / area.
The point will be that the track will start and end. During the track, there is an intro, an ending, a hook (or chorus), verses and often a bridge (a bit of music in the song that isn't the chorus or verse!) This music tune reflects the journey of life that we're all on, or even the school day with its varied elements. Wherever we go, whatever we're doing, things have a start and an end. You'll go to high school and then finish high school etc.
Get a map of a journey
As detailed in the journey assembly, we once undertook a journey from Toronto, Canada to Winthrop University in South Carolina, USA. Feel free to replace this with a journey of your own as it'll be more personal !!
To see the online google map of this journey from Toronto to Winthrop University, SC in a new window, click here...
Movie Clip Options
1. You could play anything from Ice Age (eg chapters 4,5,6,7) or Ice Age 2 with the mammals on their journey. Or from Ice Age 3!
2. You could show something from Wallace and Gromit going to the Moon - A Grand Day Out with Wallace and Gromit.
3. Show Happy Feet and play Chapter 22, (1.13.28-1.18.16). This is where Mumbo shows his great determination to 'find the aliens' (humans) and talk to them to enable the humans to understand about taking too much fish away from the penguins, with their great nets. He follows a ship across the ocean. The scene starts with Lovelace saying, "Don't make me come in the water" and ends when Mumbo is picked up on a beach.
4. Alternatively, any movie with travel in it - or sections from Ray Mears / Bear Grylls etc.
Travel changing lives
There are some incredible places to travel to and visit. If you watch any of Ray Mears or Bear Grylls, you'll know that the world is an amazing place. Many people have travelled around the globe, visiting peoples and cultures of all kinds. My sister has been to Ecuador in South America, Lithuania in Eastern Europe and DR Congo in Africa. But imagine doing the ultimate kind of travel - to the surface of the moon...
ABC News did a report (link checked Feb 2019) on some of the 24 astronauts that have actually landed on the moon.
One of Apollo 16, Edgar Mitchell spoke about the trip back from the moon, "what I do remember is the awesome experience of recognizing the universe was not simply random happenstance. … That there was something more operating than just chance," adding that in the years since the moonwalk he has tried hard to "figure out what was true." He also believes that UFOs are true.
Apollo 15 astronaut James Irwin left NASA one year after his 1971 mission to form a religious organization, High Flight Foundation in Colorado to encourage others to experience "the Highest Flight possible with God," believing that, "Jesus walking on the earth is more important than man walking on the moon." Before his death in 1991, Irwin led expeditions to Turkey's Mount Ararat in search of evidence of Noah's Ark.
He continued to say, The Earth reminded us of a Christmas tree ornament hanging in the blackness of space. As we got farther and farther away, it diminished in size. Finally, it shrank to the size of a marble, the most beautiful you can imagine... That beautiful, warm, living object looked so fragile, so delicate, that if you touched it with a finger it would crumble and fall apart … seeing this has to change a man."
Gene Cernan, who made the last moon landing in 1972, said he became a believer in the idea of a greater power after traveling to outer space.
"I felt that the world was just too beautiful to have happened by accident. There has to be something bigger than you and bigger than me," said Cernan in the documentary, In the Shadow of the Moon. "And I mean this in a spiritual sense, not a religious sense," said Cernan. "There has to be a creator of the universe who stands above the religions that we ourselves create to govern our lives."
Charles Duke, the youngest man to walk on the moon left NASA in 1975 to enter private business and formed the Duke Ministry for Christ.
In May 2004, Kanye West released a single called 'Jesus Walks' which became a huge hit and anthem. He writes, "So here go my single, dog, radio needs this / They say you can rap about anything except for Jesus / That means guns, sex, lies, video tapes / But if I talk about God my record won't get played, huh?" Wikipedia (checked Feb 2019) lets us know that this is directly taken from West's past experiences, where early on when he was struggling to get signed onto a record label, many executives turned him down after he played a "Jesus Walks" demo for them.
On a remix of this track, myfishbites has the lines, "Jesus walks and he talks / Right with you and with me / Not just walking and talking / He sets people free." This was out of personal experience in my life and in millions of other lives around the world.
There is a story in the Bible about Jesus walking on a road to a town called Emmaus. This is in the time after he has been killed and tortured (including having his beard ripped off his face) and has risen from the dead. He meets 2 of his followers on this road and walks and talks with them. As they walk along, they have an experience of God revealed to them and are changed forever.
Another man in the Bible was called Saul. He actually took delight in killing Christians for fun (did you know 1000s of Christians are killed around the world every day simply because they believe in Jesus). He was there when the first ever Christian was killed by having stones thrown at him. After this, he was travelling on a road to a town called Damascus when he met with God and his life was changed along with his name - to Paul - and he wrote half the New Testament of the Bible. Eventually he was beheaded because of his faith. But he had a life changing experience on his travels.
We all believe in something. It may be God, it may be a belief there is no God. But you still have a faith in something. As you travel through life on different journeys and do different things, try to enjoy the journey. But as Christians we believe that the journey becomes even more meaningful if you believe in God and let him change you, just like Paul did. Christians believe that one day, your travels will be out of this world!