Graduation Day

As I observed our oldest son’s high school graduation this weekend, I was filled with pure joy (and some tears) for the experiences that have come throughout this journey. What a ride it has been! Reflecting on the ceremony I have some thoughts to share which can be applied to a literal and metaphorical graduation:

Be intentional in everything you do, don’t take anything for granted, relentlessly pursue your purpose, and stay positive. You don’t want to look at that graduation stage filled with regret about what you could have or should have done with your time here. Consider also the “graduation stage” as a metaphor for that final grand stage when we meet our maker. What thoughts will race through our minds as we reflect on what could have, or should have been?

For the Scriptures say,

“‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord,
‘every knee will bend to me,
and every tongue will declare allegiance to God.’”

Yes, each of us will give a personal account to God.  (Romans 14:11-12)

It is less than ninety days until Peyton leaves our home to attend college far away. Like a bird leaving the nest for the first time, this is a natural progression. He was never meant to remain at home with us forever. Our job was to raise him correctly in a God-honoring way, to love him unconditionally, and to then let him leave, ultimately trusting God’s plan for all of us in this transition.

I wish I could say I was the best dad and for it to be true. What I can say is how much of a difference our faith makes during this time. With the mourning and some sense of loss, there is indescribable comfort and joy that comes from knowing God knew this time was coming, he has a plan, he loves us, and he holds us in his hands.

In a world that feels out of control, one of the most important (and few) assets we have in our control is our attitude so there’s a choice: Worry and wallow in sadness or choose joy, and put all of my hope and trust in the God who has never let me down.

Whatever you’re going through right now consider:

First off, God knows our pain and he knows our hearts. He is not far from our pain as Jesus experienced more pain than we could ever know. He felt it firsthand, so he understands it.

Even Death and Destruction hold no secrets from the Lord.
How much more does he know the human heart! (Proverbs 15:11)

Our attitude, our choice. Will we choose gladness and a happy heart?

 For the despondent, every day brings trouble;
for the happy heart, life is a continual feast. (Proverbs 15:15)

Instead of focusing on our own troubles, we can better serve God by focusing on others as our attitudes are contagious!

A cheerful look brings joy to the heart;
good news makes for good health. (Proverbs 15:30)

Pray for someone to cross your path today who needs a cheerful look and be ready… Graduation day is coming.

Today’s reading: Romans 14, Proverbs 14-15