by Loreena Thiessen
Which is your favourite cookie? Oreos? Chocolate chip? Peanut butter?
Would you eat only cookies if you could? All day? Every day?
What would happen if you did? Your body would feel unbalanced. You would need something more.
To be balanced means to have the right amount of different things. Your body needs a balance of different foods, fruits, vegetables, protein, grains, and dairy, like milk or yogurt. Together these foods have what your body needs to be healthy and grow.
To be your best you need balance in everything you do. In one day you play some of the time. You stop to eat lunch and supper. You need time to clean up, to get dressed and walk to school. You need time to do your homework, and get your chores done, perhaps clear the supper dishes and load the dishwasher. You can’t do only one thing. To be your best you must balance your time and your activities.
You can find balance all around you. Every morning the sun comes up, the sky gets brighter and birds begin to sing. And each evening the sun sets, the sky darkens and the birds grow silent. The balance of night and day is a pattern, day follows night and night follows day.
Seasons follow a pattern too. Cold weather follows warm. After summer there’s fall, then winter and spring, and once again the warm summer.
It’s easy to see pattern in flowers. Take the daisy. Its white petals grow in a circle around a yellow centre. The petals of the sunflower circle a bed of seeds like the rays of the sun. The rosebud’s petals fold around each other to form a tight round ball.
Take a look at the houses on your street. Do they have a tall pointed roof or a low roof? Do any have a chimney? Are their windows the same? How many have a garage? Are they attached or separate? Look at the cars driving on the street, or parked at the curb. Are they the same or different? Are they different colors or are they pretty much the same?
There’s a pattern to how we connect with each other. When you say “Hi!” to someone, usually that person says “Hi!” right back. When you smile at someone they smile too.
Numbers have patterns too. Count by tens and each number ends the same: 10, 20, 30; 13, 23, 33, and so on.
Languages have patterns. In an English sentence the subject, the thing you are talking about, comes first, followed by the verb or the action. For example, a dog barks.
A pattern is a repetition, something that happens in the same way again and again. Patterns are all around you. They make you feel balanced. It’s easier to go to bed at night when it’s dark outside. You know the sun will be back in the morning. You expect it. You feel there is order. You can predict it will happen again tomorrow.
God created the earth to have order so we can live on it. He created the sun to give energy to all living things. He created food in the form of plants and animals for all living beings. And he created water for without water there is no life.
Read Genesis 1:1-24 and Isaiah 45:18.
Activity: Find pattern in nature.
Need: One head of broccoli, one blooming geranium plant, a pine tree.
Do: Remove one small part of the broccoli. Is its shape similar to that of the whole head?
Look at the flower of the geranium. Do the tiny flowers, in shape and colour, imitate the large bloom?
Examine a pine branch. Is it similar to the shape of the whole tree? Does it look like a miniature pine tree?
These are examples of patterns in nature where the parts imitate the whole thing. In science this is called self-similar structure, or a fractal.