This past year has been challenging. Perhaps that’s an understatement for some of us, and for others of us, perhaps we’ve already forgotten past difficulties as we seek to navigate the latest “normal,” or maybe we’re just worn out and ready for a break. Yesterday, my kids watched their school’s 8th grade graduation live-streamed on YouTube. Normally, the whole student body would be present to share in the celebration in person. Yesterday was one of many COVID-related adaptations that have shaped this past year, and yet, it didn’t seem to put a damper on the joy on the celebration. The students and their families still wore enormous smiles – lighting up their entire face (and undiminished by their masks), as they celebrated the accomplishment of graduating.
I am awed by the way our children and youth adapt. They live in a constant flow of change and growth.
In his book, A Permanent Becoming: A Contemporary Look at the Fruit of the Spirit, Alan Mann suggests that in order to become more and more human, we must seek to become more Christ-like – “authentic; fully awake, open to the world; self-aware; at one with ourselves, with others and the creation. To be one with the Divine.” He suggests that through actively cultivating the fruit of the spirit, which Paul describes in his letter to the Galatians, through the practice of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, we become more and more who we are intended to be. He sees that in our western culture, “spirituality has become just another dimension of our consumerist society,” instead of the lens through which we live, or the very air we breathe, because, “a truly transformative spirituality occurs through the ordinariness of everyday life.”