I have already been to four graduations, and I have several more to attend in the next week. Also, Valeria and I have received in the mail many other graduation announcements. It is the season for graduations!
Graduations are monumental! It is possibly the biggest rite-of-passage we have in America in the life of a teenager! It is the end of your mandatory education. In many ways, it is the beginning of adulthood. Graduations are special!
I still clearly remember my high school graduation from 1998, my college graduation from 2002, and my seminary graduation from 2006. Those were big events in my life, and I am thankful to be able to look back at those meaningful milestones.
Attending someone else’s graduation is a lot different than participating in your own graduation. Yet still, I have recently found myself reflecting on graduation. These reflections have helped me grow as an adult and a Christian.
Here are 4 Reflections on Graduations:
- Thankful for Teachers! As I was sitting there the other night and reading through the Graduation Program, I was looking at the list of teachers names. There were a lot of teachers listed. And I did not know many of them at all. I did not know most of the teachers. I realized then that there are a lot of people working in schools and working in students lives that the average person never knows or thinks about. They contribute to the growth and education of so many kids. It takes a lot of people working hard to make a school function. There is a lot that goes into a kid getting an education. I thank God for teachers and administrators that work in schools!
- Life Goes By Fast! Every graduation I attend, I find myself in awe of some of the kids who are graduating. I thought they were freshmen last year! My second son, Eli, graduated from Kindergarten last week. It seems he just learned to walk. There are kids graduating this week from high school that were in Elementary school when I became their youth pastor. That doesn’t seem that long ago. The Bible says “you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.” (James 4:14) Graduation is clear reminder of how quickly life passes us by! Don’t always be hurrying to the next thing in life. Enjoy today!
- Schools aren’t that Bad! Students have a tendency to complain about their schools, their teachers, and their administrators. But at graduation there is a sense that it was worthwhile. There is an appreciation for those who have taught you. There is an admiration for those who have put up with students and their complaining. During the school year, we may think the worst of schools, but typically at graduation we think the best of our school, teachers and administrators. Graduations help us see that schools aren’t that bad!
- Young People are Awesome! My life has been so blessed by the graduations I have attended. Even when I do not know many of the kids, I enjoy going. I attend 5-10 graduations each Spring. And I like going. I like going because young people are great! Yes, they have their issues. But they are special. From the Valedictorian speeches – to the tossing of the caps – to the awards passed out – to the scholarships received – to their families defiantly cheering from the crowd – to the outfits underneath their caps & gowns – young people are special! There are a lot of kids out there who are doing well. Lots of kids have overcome the odds. Many are going to flourish after high school. Many will become great moms and dads. Many will be the next leaders of those very schools. Graduations have reminded me that Young people are awesome! They indeed are the future!
As you get set to attend an upcoming graduation, be prepared to reflect on some of these things! Graduation has a lot teach us.