Many people live their lives constantly searching for “what’s next,” while never fully embracing their present moment, or enjoying the natural stages of life as they experience them. Further, there is a common narrative in American pop culture that “youth” is the pinnacle of life and growing “old” is a nemesis we must battle against.
However, every morning, a group of Mount Vernon students gather with Director of Spiritual Life Brian Burchik to learn how to make the most of their present lives, as well as forming a hopeful, while realistic, blueprint for their future.
By exploring the ancient wisdom of the Bible along with other disciplines including psychology and neurology, students are identifying the major stages of life and imagining what it will really be like to live through several predictable phases in their future.
Though our youth-oriented culture often fails to address questions of “growing up,” students in the Blueprints class are actively asking things such as, “How does one cultivate the maturity required to lead to successful jobs, experience healthy relationships, raise vibrant families and make sustaining impact in the world?”
As an example, in their “Lifetime Project” students interviewed people from five different stages of life, asking them questions like the ones below:
- What is the biggest blessing of this phase of life?
- What is the biggest burden of this phase of life?
- Do you have any regrets from your previous phase of life? If so, explain.
- How has the way you understand yourself changed since previous phases of life?
- What is one piece of advice you would offer to me in my current phase of life?
Through these interviews and a final presentation, students are coming to grips with the reality that every stage of life has its own unique blessings and burdens. There simply isn’t going to be a “perfect” time out there, so the major pursuit then becomes, “How can I experience contentment and fulfillment in this current, temporary phase of my life
Blueprints is one of three religion classes that will be offered in the Upper School 2018-19 school year. Mr. Burchik will also be teaching the #LiveFully Bible course and World Religions. Our Spiritual Life department is growing and we look forward to seeing more students engaging in this ancient conversation of life and spirituality.
“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances;
for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”