To the graduates pictured on the inside of this expanded bulletin, we wish all the best of God’s blessings. We rejoice with you as you rejoice. Knowing that life’s biggest milestones are generally accompanied by mixed-emotions, we also feel the sorrow of your good-byes to what’s been and trepidations regarding what’s to be.
Another word for ‘graduation’ is ‘commencement,’ which highlights the fact that graduating is about more than caps and gowns, parties and presents. Graduating is about commencing, progressing, reaching new levels, taking on new responsibilities. You are moving on – hopefully, moving upward. New discoveries await you!
One of the things you will discover is that adulthood is actually a long series of ‘graduations’ – though most don’t involve diplomas, and many won’t come with congratulations. These transitions in life, some sought with anticipation, others unbidden and undesired, will involve both opportunities and dangers. The big question will always be: Will the ‘graduates’ transition toward the Lord or away from Him?
Mark this: All of life’s transitions are spiritual crises. We leave familiar places and routines. Habits are interrupted. Previous influences weaken as new influences come into play. Even more than usual, both the Lord and Satan have an interest in every decision made.
That’s where you graduates are now. What should you do? I suggest two resolutions:
I will cling to my faith. I will be like Abraham who “by faith … went out, not knowing where he was going” (Hebrews 11:8). I will take my Bible with me, and my convictions. I will prioritize my new situation around the Lord and His people. I won’t wait to look for a church, or to get involved. I will nurture my faith, and protect it by being true to my conscience (I Timothy 1:19).
I will be useful for the Lord. I will “be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and ready to do any good work” (II Timothy 2:21). I will remember that I’m not just preparing for life – I’m living it now! Since the Bible shows us that no one is too young or too poor to contribute, I will give of what I have, little or much, and start by giving myself (II Corinthians 8:3-5).
By making God’s rule and righteousness your first priority (Matthew 6:33), you will create spiritual memories with Him that will bless you all your days!
Ecclesiastes 11:9 &-12:1a
“Be happy, while you are young, and let your heart give you joy in the days of your youth. Follow the ways of your heart and whatever your eyes see, but know that for all these things God will bring you to judgment. … Remember your Creator in the days of your youth.”