While this graphic certainly has me singing The Fixx's One Thing Leads To Another as I type this, it is not quite the direction I am looking to go in. Yet.
Every week when my Faith Formation class joins together, I present them with their folders filled with blank paper. I love blank paper...I am a blank paper freak. A sheet of blank paper holds so many possibilities...will it become a list? Will it become a love song? Will it become the beginning of the novel to which I will win my Pulitzer? The possibilities are endless...
Upon receiving this folder of endless possibilities, I present them with a question. Sometimes it is just one, sometimes there are multiples. My purpose of this exercise is to help them calm their minds, stop and think about what it is they think they believe, and journal. After our two years together (we are nearly done with Year One) they will have a small journal, thus allowing them to see how they have grown.
These questions are not always based in religion, but many times take us back to what our faith holds for us. Last week I asked them two questions:
1) What is one thing you believe is wrong with our world;
2) What is one thing you believe is wonderful about our world.
You know what I learned from these eighth graders? They really have it going on.
In this world of I-Phones and televisions in every room of the house, many of the students wrote they feel our society is too driven by money and it is sad how the economy seems to be at the root of everyone's happiness. Those who are faring well in the economy seem to be happy; however, there are those whose lives are being destroyed by debt, joblessness, and the economy. Pretty astute for a group of teenagers.
What they found wonderful about this world was almost resoundingly the same: the ability for human-kind to show love to one another in times of crisis and how humans have the ability to care for others beyond themselves. Examples were given of Hurricane Katrina, Irene, September 11, and so on. Again, pretty astute for a group of teenagers. I have said it before and I will say it again - they have it going on SO much more than I did at their age.
Currently I am preparing to go meet my class for this week's session. And as I pray in gratitude every week, thank you, Lord, not for what I am teaching, but what I am learning from them.
Oh...one last thing...you didn't really think I'd leave you hangin' without sharing another great from the '80's, did ya'?