Graduation is an exciting time. Graduation is a hectic time. Graduation is a bitter sweet time.
If life has gone the way it should, parents and children have a special bond. Parents will sacrifice for their children – their love is that strong. Yet, the process of raising a child is a process of gradually letting go. Parents are like the scaffolding around a building project. Parents train, nurture and discipline. But the goal is the finished project. The training and discipline are to be internalized. The scaffolding is taken down, although with parenting a different and wonderful relationship remains.
That letting go makes graduation bitter sweet. Your mother may shed a tear. If you parents drive you to college or to your departure for boot camp (or you name the life changing event – new job, new apartment), your mother may cry (and even your dad may get misty-eyed). Yet there is a certain pride in seeing your child make his or her way in the world. That is what we raised you to do.
Enjoy the whirlwind of activities – baccalaureate, graduation, and open house. I don’t remember one speech from any graduation I’ve ever attended including my own. Yet, those moments are special and deserve to be savored. They are markers to a wonderful transition in life.
Graduation is a transition. It leads to the next chapter of life. That is bound to be exciting and maybe even a little frightening. My advice to young people is to follow your dream. That dream, of course, needs to be within the will of God. The New Living Translation captures Ecclesiastes 11:9 fairly well.
Young people, it’s wonderful to be young! Enjoy every minute of it. Do everything you want to do; take it all in. But remember that you must give an account to God for everything you do. Ecclesiastes 11:9 NLT
When you are young, many choices face you. Choose wisely.
The next chapter of life will likely mean that you will be making more and more of your faith decisions on your own. I hope that you have a real faith, and not simply something that is hand-me-down. Faith will protect you from many of life’s mistakes (Deuteronomy 6:24). Make certain that you plug into a local church. (If you need help finding one, try http://www.churchzip.com.) God does not intend for us to make the spiritual journey alone.
Making faith your own will mean questions. I want you to know there are good answers to faith’s questions. God will bless the humble seeker (Proverbs 2:1-15, Isaiah 55:6-9, Jeremiah 29:13, Acts 17:27).