Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Commencement Wisdom

This month 3.1 million students are expected to graduate from high school and hundreds of thousands will be receiving their college diploma. The teenagers and twenty-something’s will reach a milestone and have a new beginning for themselves. Here are a few pieces of commencement wisdom I would like to pass along to each graduate.

Rejoice and celebrate your achievement. Years have been invested to get to this point. Do not let it slide by without enjoying the moment. Achieving something is more fun when we celebrate the accomplishment.

Recall the people that helped you make it. No man is an island to himself. Thank your parents for any encouragement they provided and take a moment to understand the emotions they are experiencing, as their little boy or girl from years ago will soon be leaving home. Thank your teachers for their investment. Thank the friends who were always there.

Release the heartache connected with the journey. Your celebration may be bittersweet. Perhaps there is conflict within your family. Maybe you have had a hard time fitting in or you carry a broken heart. Whatever it is, you can choose to hold onto the pain or release it. Vow to let go of the past when you receive that diploma and embrace a new future.

Resolve to never give up. There were challenges in reaching this day and there will be challenges tomorrow. Researchers say that there was 27% of this year’s class that never made it to high school graduation and 44% that never made it to college graduation. You did. You overcame. Accept the fact that you will have obstacles, but resolve to learn from them and never give up.

Remember the Creator. A wise old King once said, “Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth” (Ecclesiastes 12:1). It is very easy to forget God or to no longer believe He exists in the days of youth. A sense of adventure, a desire to question, being at the peak of energy and strength, living for the moment and a feeling of independence can all lead there. There are many benefits with youth, but also some drawbacks. In the zeal for life, the tendency to live for self and forget God is a major one. Yet, He has a way of keeping us in-check. God has said there will be a day of reckoning, where we all must stand before Him and give an account for how we have lived.

As you reach this milestone, may you make the most of it by becoming a follower of God’s only Son, Jesus. This is the best way to start this new beginning in your life. Turn from your ways and seek His ways, the One who made you and knows you best. May your Creator bring you hope for today and your future.