I go to church every week, I live an honest life and God and I are definitely BFFs, but religion is not all-consuming for me. I eat meat during Lent. I can't recite scripture. After 13 years of Catholic School, I still am not sure if Mary Magdalene is the mother of Jesus, or if she was some other Biblical lass. Whatever. I know God and He knows me.
See, the thing is, I have an aversion to the term 'religious.' For me, it connotates someone who is aggressively pursuant of other followers and quick to verbally attack someone who isnt living a Christian life. My experiences with "religious" people have always been pompous and self-righteous. Obviously not all 'religious' people are this way, but it has been my experience.
I prefer to think about being Spiritual. I like to think of my spirit as a real, tangible thing - almost like my brain or heart. Something inside of me that needs nurtuted, watered and taken care of. Sometimes this can be accomplished from time talking to God, but other times, it just needs a great song or a clean house or a night out dancing. When my spirit is sick, all of me is sick.
I also believe that communities can have a spirit. Ever since I began teaching at Rogers High School, I have felt that our school's spirit was sick. We, as a unit, do not support, uplift or energize this school's spirit enough and as a result, teachers get morose, kids start not believing in themselves and the very building smells stale and boring. We have moments of fun or energy, but the majority of the time, things feel like WORK all the time. I have opted to handle this by creating my own classroom spirit - and I work very hard at keeping it upbeat, fun, laughing and sensory filled. Without tooting my own horn, I really believe that kids like coming to my room. We laugh. We learn. We love.
And then, typically, the bell rings and they go back to being submerged in the hollow feeling of our halls.
Lately, it has been so different. Our basketball team is heading to the State Semi-Final Championship game today and the energy and movement and love has been palpable in this place. The kids are smiling, the adults are proud, the walls are covered in posters praising the team and the RAMS in general... It is the best feeling I have ever experienced in my 10 yrs of teaching in this place, and win or lose, I dont want it to come to an end.
Our spirit is so nurtured and cared for in this moment, that it brings tears to my eyes. A positive spirit is contagious, and now I can only hope that we are proud enough of this feeling that we continue to give it tools to grow.
I dont know about tomorrow, but Ram Spirit is alive today.