It seems that I will be attending several high school graduation ceremonies over the next couple of weeks. Four seniors, three different schools, 2 churches… and none of the ceremonies are in conflict (yea!). I’m proud of their accomplishments and wish them all the best on what will be an important night for them. What I’m not looking forward to are the inevitable idiots who will hoot and holler, perhaps blow an air horn, and generally “act a fool” as my momma would say. This attitude denies the graduate the dignity of the death that is occurring at that moment.
Let me explain.
Graduation marks an ending and it marks a new beginning. The graduate experiences the death of what they have known and what has been, for many of them at least, a comfortable existence. High School becomes a memory, not a presently lived experience. For some, it will be a memory best forgotten for it was a time of brokenness or missed potential. For others, it will be a time of fond memories. It won’t matter if they are going off to college, specialized training, the military, or directly into the working world, their lives are irrevocably changed and life begins anew. This cycle of death and life, new life, resurrection, if you will, will be repeated over and over throughout the journey that we all take on this terrestrial ball.
Those of us who are followers of Christ should be familiar with this concept. Death and resurrection are all part of our experience, even if we would rather not experience them. The thing is that we don’t have to face these realities on our own. Indeed, we don’t face them on our own, for God is with us. God never leaves us, even though we might not be feeling God’s presence or even wanting God’s presence at the time. For me, that has brought a sense of comfort, a sense of hope, and it brings the strength to carry on in spite of what may be going on around me.
To the Class of 2014: May your sails be unfurled and the wind always at your back. Dream big and never let your dreams be compromised. Godspeed as you sail off into a new life and a new world. Never forget, you are not alone.