Today's kind of a special post as we're beginning to get accustomed to seeing a lot of graduation photos in our Facebook timelines and Instagram feeds (which by the way, yes I am on Instagram @rjkeilok). From Pre-K all the way up to college, pics of caps and gowns, Pomp and Circumstance, tears of joy and sighs of relief pop up from all over everywhere. And in those ceremonies you hear speeches from the valedictorians and salutatorians and maybe an important dignitary or two.
If on down the line I am fortunate enough to be considered to make a speech to a graduating class somewhere, I would probably say something to the effect of this...
To the graduating class of 2014:
Well, kids...you did it!!! Beginning as far back as probably Head Start or Pre-K, fourteen to fifteen years of determination, sacrifice, and hard work have gotten you to where you sit today...with your closest friends in your caps and gowns, waiting for that moment when you walk across this stage, grab your folder, the prompt to change your tassel and be called officially a graduate. Congratulations!!!
As you close one chapter of your life and start writing the next chapter, whether it be continuing your education at the university of your choice, or serving our country in the armed forces or immediately going into the work force, let me pass along some thoughts to remember.
First and foremost, remember who the Ultimate Boss is. Proverbs 3:5,6 says "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him (one translation says "in everything you do Put God First...") and He will direct your paths." Make God your top priority and everything else will fall into place.
Secondly...listen to people you can trust. People like your parents, your grandparents, your Pastor, the elders in the church. Psalm 1:1,2 (HCSB) "How happy is the man who does not follow the advice of the wicked, or take the path of sinners, or join a group of mockers. Instead, his delight is in the Lord's instruction, and he meditates on it day and night."
Lastly, while you are striving to succeed in whatever you do from this point forward, it is OK to have some fun every now and again. I'm reminded of a classic movie quote -- "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy." Maintain a work/fun balance...just don't let one overrun the other too much.
Again, congratulations on making it to this point in your journey. Keep your eyes on what's ahead, don't look back and most importantly...Put God First!