Hello again, all (yes, to you, my lovely nine followers)! I just returned from my last graduation ceremony -the last commencement address- of this school year. I have been to four ceremonies in as many weeks, successively. Some people may look on that as a bore, but I rather enjoyed it. After all, I gleaned much from the four different perspectives on what one ought to do or be after high school. It was like being admonished four times in a row! So I thought I would give a little summary of what I learned during the various speeches this past month, and let you in on what happened at my graduation, as well as a few pictures!
The first ceremony in the graduation line-up was my own. It was a fun, encouraging time and a great way to begin life as a (oh, my!) graduate. Thanks to everyone who put it together. When my family arrived, there was a place for everything and everything was in its place -or shortly achieving that goal. We just waltzed in and blindly sailed through it all! As I was arranging the food for the reception on the many platters we had brought, the fact that I was graduating from years of school and a schedule that would be no more -the idea that after this point in most people's lives, they are considered adults and up-and-leave to 'their own' lives- had definitely not registered. I was just arranging food, which, as you might realize by now, is not anything new for me. You would think that, at least, as I donned my sky blue robe and pinned on my hat and tassel, I would have realized the 'significance' of what was happening. Yeah right. I was simply putting on blue, which, as those of you who know me well, is a part of my almost daily routine. Soon enough, I found myself, with the other three graduates, standing single file straining for that first line of Pomp and Circumstance. Surely, surely then I must have seen that The Day had come and I was now....graduating. Huh uh. Not a chance. I was merely listening to pretty music (thanks, Groves) while strolling down a lane, which, as not many know, I do all the time. Then came the songs, the prayers, the speech (oh, yeah....that is what I am writing about...), the tears, and finally, the diploma. And as my wonderful Daddy raised his arm and handed me that diploma tied up in the nice ribbon it....still had not sunk in. Yeah, anticlimactic, I know. It still has not sunk in. I do not feel like a graduate. In fact, I feel more like a child than ever!
And that is the one thing on which I would like to comment before I get into the commencement addresses: one day does not make much of a difference. One episode or event does not suddenly change you into whatever you thought you would be. Sure, I had a birthday. Sure, I graduated. Did people expect for me to come out any differently than when I went in? Was I supposed to feel free and independent the moment I tossed my cap? Did the act of receiving a diploma make me a better and more mature person? I am having to say not really. Now, do not misunderstand me. I am not advocating the abolition of all ceremonies, birthdays, and anniversaries. I love those things. I am just pointing out that one cannot rely on or look to that One Event and think I will be this by that day. You fill in your this and that. See, change comes from the inside, not the outside. Or, true change cannot be externally imposed upon you, contrary to what the mentality of Since I am graduated, I am now this says. True change, or growth, is wrought from the inside out, not the outside in. How do I look at these Events, then? Well, I see them as opportunities, just like any day is an opportunity. Lord, what can you teach me -how can you change me- through this (fill in the blank)? When questioned on how he felt on his birthday, my grandpa said, "I am a day older than yesterday and a day younger than tomorrow." I think I will be pleased when I can lay my head down on the pillow and feel a day older than yesterday and a day younger than tomorrow, too. That can only happen if I seize the opportunities God has given me to learn more about Him and to become more like Him. Hmmm, that sounds familiar. Right...my blog title. Of course. So, that is what I did with the commencement addresses, which were about:
The commencement speech at my graduation was given by someone whom I have respected for years. I was really thrilled when I saw he would be the one doing the "commencing." He used a military analogy to show the importance of being faithful -always. His text was James 1:17, "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change." God is the Unchanging One from whom all good gifts proceed, and who is reflected by the manifestations of those gifts in the present darkness of this world. Faithfulness, then, is an important and serious reflection of God's light here on earth.
Hehe. The graduate who didn't know she was...Thanks for the pictures, Mrs. Scott!!!
Next Saturday, I attended the second graduation. It was also wonderful. Funny, I sat there during the ceremony thinking When I graduate, I am going to use this piece and do this and say that. It was only at the end of the slideshow that I realized I had already graduated! Anyway, the address was given by a young man who did a great job. His three main exhortations to the graduates were the following: 1) Surround yourselves with good, living examples: people who would point you to God and direct you in His ways (am I right about this one? This is from the top of my head memory, which has been shutting down as of late). 2) Immerse yourself in good books. Books of all sorts. LEARN! I loved that point... and 3) Take note and apply the difference between biblical manhood and womanhood. Seek out what being a man in God is, or what a woman in God is. I was pleasantly surprised this issue was addressed at all. Most people are too scared to touch on the subject. And it needs to be addressed.
The following Saturday, I went to another graduation. I am a little hazy on this one. I know it was very personal and beneficial...that short term memory loss is kicking in. I do remember that the father spoke on biblical womanhood (yeah!), particularly about Eve. Did you know the mother of the human race is mentioned by name only four times in the Bible??? 'Tis true! I was reminded of the beauty of being the woman God wants me to be. It was a timely and helpful message because it can be difficult being an 'odd-ball' in this world of reversed values and trends and what-not. I know many of you know what I am talking about.
And last but not least, yesterday. Wowsers. A whirlwind indeed. The speaker was Ken Ham. He did, of course, a marvelous job. Mr. Ham gave the graduates a heartening, cheery thought. In Christ, we have a purpose. There is a path, a task, a race, after high school. It ought to direct our lives. And it is something that others cannot understand, something they will never know. We have to be well-diggers. That is our purpose. "Go out and be well-diggers" was the last thing he told the graduates. Well-diggers? Yes, well-diggers. We have to water the earth with the gospel of Christ -the water that leaves one satisfied forever. God wants us to irrigate this parched land with His refreshing message. We can do this by being who He created us to be, by doing what He wants us to do -by living for Him.
So, I did not find it boring at all! Hope you did not either.