I’ve been reflecting on graduation and everything that surrounds it. Partially because I’m a youth minister and a lot of my students are graduating… partially because I just graduated with an MAR from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary.
Anyway, when I get all reflective and nostalgic about graduation, my ADHD mind almost immediately travels to thinking about Dr. Seuss’ “Oh the Places You’ll Go!” If you’ve been around any graduations recently, I’m fairly certain you’ve seen, heard or read something about this book… For those of you who aren’t familiar here’s the basic premise:
Someone poetically encourages a young person (presumably their child) who is just about to go out and take on the world… They tell them that they will be great and awesome and do amazing wonderful and spectacularly successful things… except when they don’t, cuz sometimes they won’t… and sometimes they will have to wait for things… and sometimes there will be hard decisions… on and on… It’s a really cute way to say, “Hey, life happens… but I love you and I support you, am here for you and I want you to be successful – Go forth and do your best… I’m with you every step of the way!”
When you think about it, that’s a lot like God… In fact, He said a lot of these same things in His word…
Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible. ~ Matthew 19:26
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. ~ 1 John 1:9
Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD. ~ Psalm 27:14
We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield. ~ Psalm 33:20
If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. ~ John 15:18-19
Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you. ~ Hebrews 13:5
…I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. ~ John 10:10b
Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age. ~ Matthew 28:18-20
So, here’s what my crazy mind takes from Dr. Seuss and these (and other) passages from the Bible…
- Whatever we decide to do as an occupation, our life’s calling is to be missional… That is, we are called to share Jesus’ love and work for the Kingdom regardless of how we pay the bills.
- Sometimes we are going to fail…
- Sometimes our plans and prayers require waiting – but God’s solution is always worth the wait!
- Life happens… but no matter what God loves you and will be there.
- If you are His child, He will support you and ALWAYS have your back and help you max out your considerable potential!
So, let me encourage you to go forth… take on the world… do your best… God is with you!!! Just remember:
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. ~ Colossians 3:17
Sometimes we are going to fail…but fail forward!
Good words Kevin and congrats on your graduation. (Jerry Jr. and G. Beck emailed me and asked where you were!!)
Thanks for the encouraging words!!!
I like your addition: “but fail forward” – Indeed!
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