Gradutation Time

It blew me away last night to hear many of the graduates from our church are going to study such degrees as biomedical engineering, chemical engineering, etc. We have some talented teenagers graduating high school. Yet through this they will only be successful if they keep and maintain the community of family and friends that will support them. Even when their stressed from studying or any other situation a college student may face, they are loved and cared for by an entire village.

We reminded the graduates how gifted they are and through their gifts and talents, they can lead people to experience God’s Kingdom. Part of their giftedness comes from gaining support from their community to show others they are not alone either. Here is a segment of the talk given to recognize and honor the graduates last night. See what you need to hear.

“I know the plans I have in mind for you, declares the Lord; they are plans for peace, not disaster, to give you a future filled with hope.”

These words from Jeremiah 29:11 are a favorite for graduations because of the bright future filled with love and hope for those crossing this threshold to enter a new phase in life. You have been charged with gifts from God that will allow you to prosper and bring hope, not only to your future but to others around you.

This is a special occasion for you and for your family that we hope you will not take lightly. To ensure success in this life, follow this simple blueprint:

~Know yourself – well.

~Prepare a plan of action – but always have a backup.

~Acknowledge that there is more than one way to achieve your dream – maybe even two or three.

~Own your mistakes – and learn from them.

~Recognize distractions – before they sink your ship.

~Embrace change – it makes a much better friend than enemy.

~Always move forward – nothing was ever accomplished standing still.

~Accept the reality of calculated risk – nothing ventured, nothing gained.

~Prepare for a rainy day – sooner or later one will come.

~Help and encourage others along the way – you’ll be a better person for it.

This blueprint is by Andrea Garney.

I will add one more item to this list and this trumps all others: (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; don’t rely on your own intelligence. Know him in all your paths, and he will keep your ways straight.”

So, no matter what you are facing right now, remember that you too are graduating some part of life to move into a new chapter that is going to be unbelievable, tough, exciting, lonely (sometimes); but the presence of God is in you and trying to remind you of the gifts you have been given to share with the world!


Published by Ryan Stratton

Ryan Stratton is a pastor in the Texas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. He serves with his wife, Amanda, along with their children. He writes about life, faith, and leadership through his blog.

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