If by magical powers you could pass through several different kinds of schools on the same day, you would see a wide-range of smiles and happy enthusiastic faces. Graduation is at hand. School is soon to be behind us.
Look at those who are finally getting out of the eternity of suffering called middle school. They entered very young two lifetimes ago but finally it is over and they are joyfully moving forward to high school filled with self-confidence because at last they are young adults.
Switch to those high school faces. They have just been through an astounding month of exams, grades, picnics, parties – altogether wonderful. They are a little more serious than that earlier group because they know that the next level will have many challenges. Nevertheless, they are confident and it shows on their gradually maturing faces. They are really buoyant.
The final group is those who have just received their college diplomas. Four or more tough years are behind them and they are thrilled that this chapter is over. But now they are realists and they don’t have any of the illusions of the younger groups. They look around, they see a world threatened by war, an economy unsteady at best, and job opportunities more limited than has been the case for half a century. Nevertheless, they know that they have the tools with which to create a better life for themselves and the family that will appear in their future.
All of these levels facing important milestones in life need our prayers and our encouragement. Life is tough at every level. We happen to be at a point in history where life is tough for most of us. Let’s pray together, work together and endeavor to encourage each other as we journey towards a God who loves us and waits for us.
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What is all that yelling about? It is caused by that group of elementary school kids who have just broken free of the confines of daily classes. They take their shoes off and those blessed to be able to do so are headed out to go swimming and fishing or to play ball. I hope that they have a wonderful three months before the grind starts up again.
There are two other groups of graduates as well. Let’s take a look at them. See that gang of 18 year olds? They are not so exuberant. I am talking about those who just graduated from high school and who are finding that their efforts to get into the college of their choice are difficult indeed. Many of them are not laughing. Look beyond them and you can see a second group that is not laughing. They have just graduated from college. They have accomplished a great deal and should be celebrating. They have 16 years of education behind them but the next step, meaningful employment in terms of their education and training, is not all that certain.
Congratulations to all three groups but the two latter groups deserve our prayers, encouragement and help
May God Continue to Bless the 2012 Graduates!
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At last it’s over! The lives of many Americans, if not most Americans, have in the last few weeks have been filled with the drama, joy, tears and chaos of graduation. Whether it’s eighth grade, high school, or college, every educational institution in the nation has said to some of its older students, “this is it. You’re moving on, your moving up, or maybe, you’re moving out.” When I mentioned tears, I was referring to the fact that along with the joy of accomplishment that comes with academic success, there is also a sense of sadness, because graduation almost always involves separation from people that we have truly loved and liked, and are going in a different direction.
Commentators love to tease and ridicule the speeches that pompous guests unveil in front of the graduates. The pundits laugh and say that they all say the same message, the same way at the same time every year. Let the pundits laugh- the reason that this is true is because graduation ceremonies naturally call for congratulations and encouragement to enter the next chapter with confidence and determination. Many of the speakers flop, but most of the graduates succeed, so there is sort of an inverse value on what’s being accomplished at the ceremony. If you are older and have seen all this through several generations, take one thing seriously: You need to encourage gradutes! Times have always been, and will always be tough. But, young people entering the next chapter are naturally fearful and insecure. Forget the gifts. Forget the check. Tell them they are well on their way to success, and that they will have not only your support but that of a loving God who rewards dedication and generosity.
Congratulations to the Class of 2011!
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