The next few days bring an end to my second son’s high school career. Tomorrow is his last day of school, an awards banquet, a senior dinner, and a baccalaureate service. Thursday, we have a reception for him at my Church and then on Friday is the commencement ceremony. Three more days and it is all over.
I have been thinking about all the things I want to say not only to my son but to all of those who graduate this year.
1. Please Don’t Abandon Your Roots – We raised you to the best of our ability, and we tried to give you strong roots in our faith. There will be a huge opportunity for you to quit the faith during your college years. Temptations will abound, and there will be no one to keep you pointed the right direction. I taught you to live a life of faith because I believe it is the best possible way to live. It will give you everything you need for life, and I beg you to continue to walk in the ways of the Lord.
2. Your Family is Always Here for You – This is true in our home, and I hope it is true for you. We may not be perfect, but we love you and always have a place for you. Visit frequently, call or text and stay connected. As you leave the house this year a part of our heart goes with you. Our relationship will never be the same, but that does not have to mean it will be any less caring. In fact, I think our relationship can be stronger into the future.
3. Connect to a Church – It will be extremely hard to get up for Church the next few years. I went to Bible college, and I still struggled with it. Still, try and find a way to connect. Go to a Saturday evening worship program, maybe a weekday service or even find the latest one on Sunday morning. Attend a Church and learn from the people there. Try to bless them while you are able and one day they will bless you in unexpected ways. The life of faith is meant to be lived in the community, even in college.
4. God Loves You More than Anyone – On life’s journey, you are going to make some enormous mistakes. You will fail large and loud. Everyone will know what you have done, and you will feel overwhelming guilt and shame. Don’t think for a minute that God does not love you. He offers his grace to sinners everywhere, and he will be there when you need him. I can’t explain it completely but one day grace will be all you have, and it will be all you need.
5. Live Fearless – God has a plan for your life. Take adventures. Travel the world. Meet new people. Talk to that girl. Cross the street and offer a helping hand. Connect to people even though some will hurt you. Smile to everyone. Move. Start over. The only limit in your life will be you. God will open doors all around you, and you can run through them or sit quietly and let them close. Live boldly and allow God to do an amazing thing in you and through you.
For me, this will be another emotional week in a long line of dramatic life events. I know it will be a new experience for each senior too. Stay strong and be courageous. Enjoy the moments like this that life gives and thank God for every beautiful moment. A tried to teach you well and go and make me, and all of us, proud.