Saturday, January 4, 2014

Imagine: Put Image To Your Spirituality

When you hear the word "imagine," what is the first thing that comes to mind? Is it an image—a light bulb? Is it a task—one that reminds you of your childhood? Maybe it's John Lennon song (full disclosure: one of my least favorites). When I hear "imagine," I immediately break down the word: to put image to. This definition "works" for's easier for me to put image to something than to take the leap of doing so by way of the very "imagine." They are, however, one in the same.

As part of the final project for Sports & Spirituality, my students were asked to put image to their spirituality. They were required to find a photo that captures them, someone or something engaged in "the quest for something that is above us, that is bigger, deeper, more than the ordinary, surface reality of life. Christian spirituality stresses that we begin with the gift from above from the Holy Spirit of God. You could even define Christian spirituality as our life in the Spirit of God or the art of letting God's Spirit fill us, work in us, guide us." (Michael D. Guinan, O.F.M., Christian Spirituality: Many Styles: One Spirit) 
There is nothing religious about this photo, but it captures my Spirituality. One of my favorite verses in Scripture is "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." When I achieve anything good—or great!—it is because of the gifts that God has given to me. God lifts me up and gives the glory. AMDG
I was anxious to see how students saw this Spirit, how it might be working in their lives or the world. How do they imagine the Holy Spirit? Can they "put image to" the Spirit of God in a personal, concrete way? 

I decided if I was going to ask this of them, I had to point the way with my own example. (When I saw the image of Buster Posey holding up Tim Lincecum after his no-hitter, it struck me on a much deeper level) This is what we found; perhaps you will be surprised, inspired, confused or intrigued  Many found their spirituality in sports, nature and the Church. Indeed God's Spirit fills us everywhere. Essentially, I asked them to "Find God in All Things" but what I came to see is that "In all things, we can find God."  Enjoy.
Surfing is innately spiritual. They didn't develop the term "Soul Surfer" for nothing! (Noah)

This is my sister and I in Jerusalem lighting a candle in The Church Of The Holy Sepulchre. This picture describes how my faith has developed and how it has become a distinct part of my life. (Michael)
My Spirituality is at its best in community. The Spurs were able to achieve what they did because everyone contributed in their own way (Tim).
Team AMDG (Lindsay)
Who's got it better than us? NOBODY! (Joe)
Nature provides many a cathedral. (Sydney)
Parker wrote: Both teams experience success while also proving that team chemistry is truly important. If you look at a guy like Bazemore who isn't worried about his playing time but rather just celebrating a being a fantastic teammate, that something I truly admire. It relates to my spirituality because I see the strength in numbers that these teams had, they weren't just individuals, they were a unit which is something I appreciate.

Sarah wrote: As a Christian, I have the opportunity to be a source of God's light in the world. 
Photos Credits

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