It was an administrator’s worst nightmare: 234 teenagers packed in to a gym with no direction whatsoever. I’m not sure there was even another adult in the room. It was Exordium morning, and it was long past time to start the program by singing the hymn of the month. Yet, nothing was happening. The choir was on the stage, looking at me with questioning faces. I made eye contact with a student, and he mouthed, “Piano?” Our beloved pianist was nowhere to be found.
I panicked, and did just about the worst thing a leader could do at that moment: I ran out of the gym. I intended to find the pianist and get her to the gym right quick, but it took me several painful minutes to track her down. Once I found her, I fully expected to return to the gym to find junior high boys having chicken fights in the back, an aerial battle of paper airplanes flying to and fro, and a number of other horrors too terrible to mention.
Instead I entered the gym to the dulcet sounds of 234 teenagers singing All Creatures of Our God and King acapella. No adult led them in it. No one even instructed them to do it. 234 teenagers just did it on their own. It was completely organic: the choir took the lead, and all the other students joined in. I suspect most students were not even aware of what had happened. They just did what they knew to do.
Galatians 5:22-23 reads: “[T]he fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.” That morning was a clear example of a group of teenage students exhibiting the fruits of the Spirit, namely faithfulness, self-control, goodness, etc. – not because they were compelled to, but because those virtues have been cultivated in them by the Holy Spirit alive and at work in their lives.
The cultivation of virtue works, and against such there is no law.