Graduation. Yep, I actually remember my graduation. I know it sure was a long time ago though. My mom graduated 82 years ago. The years fly by for sure. Graduations more often than not now have graduation parties. But in my day, most of us just went cruising. After my college graduation we played football.
After 30 years of teaching, mostly high school, I know most every kid just cannot wait to graduate and supposedly be on their own. But the reality of graduation, and in many cases, getting out on one's own, can be an eye opening experience that many kids just are not prepared for one way or another. Some run into difficulties adhering to principles their parents tried to instill in them. Some literally get brainwashed by peers or college teachers who have an agenda, often anti God that is awful. Some cannot for one reason or another display any self discipline and fail at work or school. Some cannot handle new found freedom. Some fall into bad peer relationships. And so it goes. Others hit a home run and everything clicks.
The one thing I have truly found to be true is that while as a teacher we think we prepare kids to go out on their own, too often we leave gaps that someone or something else fills. The world, the flesh, and the devil are fierce rivals that vye for our kids' well being.
In the passage above, Joshua said this, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." That is the key. Joshua, who led the people of Israel after Moses died, tried to illustrate to the Hebrews that they had to make important choices. He made it clear where he stood. It needs to be clear for all graduates. The most important choice they make is not even their career path or college though they certainly are important. The decision before them is what voice, what person they will stand with. It is the same choice Joshua made. It takes courage, dedication,perseverance.
It is imperative that young people be taught and encouraged to take an unwavering stand in regards to their faith, their peers, and their principles. This is something that adults, churches, and parents need to encourage and remind them of. It is so easy to look at all they have accomplished and rejoice in it but we also need to prepare them for challenges that come and how to deal with them. The decisions they make will be so important and their ultimate success depends on how they deal with challenges. That is why WE ALL NEED TO WORK AND LEAD YOUNG PEOPLE INTO GOOD STRATEGIES AND FOUNDATIONS FOR DEALING WITH THEM.
Joshua in a way faced his own graduation when he took over for Moses but he was able to succeed in all he did because of his attitude and the Lord. In another verse in that book, he says, “Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or troubled. The Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” That is the key for all of our graduates. But another key that graduates need to know is this… “Commit all you do to the Lord and He will establish your plans.” Or Proverbs 3:5, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart.” Or Jeremiah 17:7-8, “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord.”
The bottom line is that no matter how smart or academically prepared our young people are, their ultimate success rests on the Lord. Many do not know Him. That then becomes our job. But for those who do or do not, their ultimate success in life’s journey depends on their relationship with Him. And that leads me too to this conclusion… all of us each day and certainly at this time of year need to pray for these young people. That is an imperative.
Congratulations to all of the graduates and God speed.