There are just a few moments in life when it seems the earth stood still. I have had moments of love, fear, pain, and joy in so many ways when it seemed the earth stood still. The birth of my child is an example of these moments, or the first time I dedicated my life to Christ or the time I accomplished a huge goal in my career. In all these moments I couldn’t imagine that these moments were glimpses to the lessons learned in life.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law (The Bible Galatians 5:22-23). My lessons in this class were not revealed in the beginning of this course but as I soon started diving into each lesson of this course it would soon pop out like a revelation of what I would need to accomplish to remain steadfast in this process.
LOVE is the first lesson that was exposed to me both in the classroom and at home. When I first read books that lead people into finding there spiritual way: it seemed extremely controversial and was not appealing to me at first. I was born and raised in the Christian Faith and it seemed like this book was criticizing the Christian Faith and really forming bold statements about how Christians relate with other Faiths such as Islam. Ironically enough I have close friends in relationships were actually formally with the Islamic faith and converted to Christendom yet as I would practice my faith and speak on our societies. I came to terms unlike Robert Frost in Mending the Fence. I could not relate with viewpoints and the love I proclaimed seemed to lack patience, and understanding. I learned the greatest lesson in that moment is to not devalue anyone’s faith or viewpoints but to understand that we all have our path and in the path we find our way. My prayer is that Christ would reveal himself to all my brothers and sisters.
Joy is everlasting and should always exude no matter what. But it seemed to me that I couldn’t take in the Joy of the Lord during this semester at first. I was frazzled with constant schoolwork and also a family that needed my undivided attention. And it seemed to me like I was unprepared for the challenge ahead. In the list of this chaos the lesson of Joy was introduced when a student in the class expressed there frustration and wanting to release without judgment or fear of perception in the faith was her biggest issue. And though the moment was very naked and could be perceived as shameful. For me it was a joyous time to fellowship and prays with my sister in Christ and encourages her in how I also struggle with this as well. And praying with her helped me to release the burden as well.
Gentleness seemed like something I couldn’t really relate with when looking at lessons in this class. But as my professor would soon highlight. My conversation with my peers could be overbearing and I monopolized the class discussion at times. I realized that I lacked gentleness in recognizing moments where Christ would speak through me and in my silence use others to allow the Holy Spirit to take control. I began to learn I need to be gentle in my speech and using my military background was not to take charge of every conversation but to gently allow the spirit to speak in the stillness.
Faithfulness seemed like a lesson that I had mastered but what I realized in my faith journey is that understanding faithfulness and living it out are two different things. I understand that my lesson was to master the layers of faithfulness. When fellow classmates would express their concerns for their families and friends. I didn’t see how revealing Gods faithfulness was in life. My lesson was that as I am practicing being faithful to the rules and lessons I have learned in this course. It will shine light on how faithful my God is in my life.
Peace be with you. We would express this daily when we would close out the class and the lesson for me was that, as I would speak that out in everything that I do. I realized that being mindful was the lesson within peace. As I stayed mindful in the peace of God it would truly be with me no matter what.
Self-Control is probably something I could write about for hours. When reading passages about indulgence and creating a life style of self-control. I realized that this is a fruit I must chip away at little by little. I would read about the permanent decision to turn a new leaf in areas of our lives. But the lesson on self-control that I came to terms with is that the choice to apply it and the purposeful steps to walk it out must match.
Kindness would seem to be the easiest for me and there would be no need to find lessons in this fruit. Yet kindness to myself, my faith, and family in their journey to faith seemed like my most difficult lesson. Using spiritual disciplines such as Sabbath, and deep breathing and proper rest. These acts seem trivial but in hindsight they are the essence of kindness. Being kind to your body, mind and spirit are the essence of being an impact to others. Anyone can preach and speak to the highest mountain but it takes kindness to apply this gift. Most importantly learning to be first, kind to myself, and walking out the process of kindness in my journey is the lesson that I take with me.
In conclusion, I learned many lessons but I take with me that every lesson is the process in sanctification and understanding that it is a process and we must take conscious steps to live out that process in the most important thing that I have learned in this class.