Learning to grow important

“If I were a roadmap, I’d have side routes and detours marked all over my surface.

If I were a drama, I’d be in the middle of a rewrite.

If I were a novel, I’d be under revision.

If I were a house, I’d be under renovation.

If I were a piece of jewelry, I’d be in the recasting process.

If I were a film, some of me would be on the cutting room floor.

If I were a plant, I’d constantly be getting pruned to keep the dead from stifling the green.”

So began the charge to the national Honor Society inductees of Clovis Christian High School this past Monday night, and the message which followed, when broadened from the context of high school students, can be applied to all of us.

Formerly, malleability would often be thought of as a weakness.

Immutability was thought to be, not only the attribute of God, but of a successful human. No longer, in our day and age, can this be seen as the ideal. Ability to change, grow, progress and adapt to conditions is recognized as necessary. Organizations as well as people are known to be in process, and if they don’t grow, they stagnate.

High school students, particularly the brightest and the best, need to realize this early in life so they can understand what will be required of them, more so than it has of any previous generation. One of the best teachers I personally ever had was our high school defensive back field coach — Coach Kasimankas — who taught us the value of thinking on our feet.

That awareness that life is a constantly shifting set of changes and that each of us is, hopefully, growing, is a concept that goes a long way beyond its seeming pop culture roots. Whether its the life of faith, as was emphasized to the NHS inductees, or life lived in a secular context, adaptation to change is essential and will become more so.

Any community, be it metropolis or hamlet, be it worship congregation or secular group, harbors among it members those who would wish to keep everything the same. They do not do this out of malice; they (I believe) do so out of an honest conviction that the past was somehow safer, better, more chaste and pure.

Be that as it may, the world we inhabit is host to change. From the moment one is born, the process of change begins, and will continue until we die, for many of us, belief that it will continue beyond physical death.

To be human is to be in motion.