Guidance for Our Graduates

Right up front I want to apologize if I ramble a bit. As I write this month’s article, my mind is actually in a number of different times and places. You see, I am about to fly back east to see my oldest daughter, Rachel, graduate from college and I can’t seem to stop my mind from wandering. I keep thinking about when she was two years old and how on Sunday mornings the two of us would walk the two blocks from our apartment to the 7-11 to get a newspaper, a cup of coffee for me, and a bottle of chocolate milk for her. I remember when she was a little older and I heard her little voice in the backseat of the car singing along with a song on the radio for the first time. Then there were the spelling bees, the science projects, the school concerts and plays.

I remember taking her and her sister to a midnight release party for one of the Harry Potter books and thinking how unbelievably big those books were. I don’t think they slept for two days as they devoured the 700 pages and I remember wishing I could read as fast as my little girls. A little bit later, our family was in London and it was a 10-year-old Rachel who immediately mastered the public transportation system and led us everywhere we went.

Fast forward to a 22-year-old who has studied abroad twice and has spent time in six different European countries, has spent three weeks in Israel on an archeology dig unearthing a 3000-year-old settlement, and is preparing to go do it again this summer – and all this without her parents! I think about how she has directed, acted in, and produced countless plays and served as the Executive Director of one of the university’s drama troupes. I think about how she has done so much already in her life and I realize that she has proven herself to be a strong woman who makes good decisions. In that moment of realization, I stop worrying for a time and I know she’s going to be okay. But then I drift back, remembering my little girl and I start worrying about her again.

Today, I join with all of the parents of this year’s graduating classes, whether they be from high school or college, and I pray that God will bless and protect these young people as they begin new chapters of life. I pray that God will lead them on their way and that they will recognize God’s love and presence in their lives. I also pray for those parents who are just now realizing that, while the worrying about our kids may lessen over time, it really never does end. I pray God will bless us with comfort, peace, and understanding that our children are God’s children too. God is watching over them and calling them to relationship with Himself, just as He did for us. May God bless you all.

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