My Pointe of View

My thoughts on God, Life, and Dance

Graduation – Then and Now

Written By: jamieu - Jun• 01•12

This morning I attended senior chapel at Seacoast Christian Academy. I worked at this school for 10 years and have known some of the graduates since they were in elementary school. As I sat in the auditorium this morning I started thinking back to my high school graduation (more years ago than I would like to admit…). I remember how exciting it was to be leaving high school knowing there was a world of possibilities stretching out before me. With that gift of new found freedom I also remember there being a part of me that wanted to skip graduation and just return back to school the next year.

For the first 18 years of our lives we have one job: Go to school, do your best, be a kid. You know that every day you will get up go to school and then come home to your family. There is no question if this is what you are supposed to be doing – you just do it. Then one day graduation is upon you and suddenly everything is changing. You are being forced out of the comfortable bubble you have been living in for so long and there is nothing you can do about it. Suddenly there are so many options:  college or no college? Move away or stay home? Study what you love or study what is practical? Get married or stay single? While the ceremonies, parties, and gifts are all exciting, those things come to an end and you are left with a whole world of change and it is scary.

While I was reminiscing I realized that those same feelings have come and gone many times since I turned my tassel. We have many “graduation” moments in our lives. There are times when big changes and the unknown are upon us and we can suddenly feel 18 again, except this time there are no parties being thrown in your honor. When you are in school the system forces you out ready or not, but after that it is your choice weather you are going to obediently follow the plan that God has for you. What if I had chosen to skip graduation flunk out and just keep repeating my life as a high school senior? It may have felt like the safe thing to do but where would it have gotten me? Nowhere.

In looking up the origin of the word graduation I discovered that one of the earliest meanings came from the practice of alchemy: late 15c., in alchemy, “tempering, refining of something to a certain degree,” Alchemy was an early form of chemistry that tried to take a basic metal like lead and turn it into gold. This obviously did not pan out as they had hoped, but the definition got me thinking about a Biblical principal that applies to graduation as well.

Job 23:10 says,

10 But he knows the way that I take;
when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold.

And Psalm 66:10 says,

For you, God, tested us; you refined us like silver.

Now, my knowledge and research on the refining of silver and gold is minimal but what I have discovered is that it is a long process with many steps that include the repeated use of acid and extreme heat. Sounds like loads of fun, right? In order for us to graduate from the different seasons of our lives, God has to refine us. He has to work out all of the impurities so that we can shine for Him where ever He places us. Sometimes we come out of the pot all shined up but we are overcome with the desire to retreat back to the safety of the familiar. There is nothing I would hate more than to look back at the end of my life and realize that I did not accomplish all that God had for me because I did not want to face the reality of stepping from one season to the next. If you find yourself in a transitional “graduation” season take heart that the best is yet to come. While the past was good, and necessary for the shaping of who you are today, staying there is not an option. Do not let yourself live in the comfort of what was, when the thrill of what will be is on the horizon.

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4 Comments

  1. jenny says:

    Thank you. Really, this is what i needed to hear.

  2. Olivia says:

    Toucdhwon! That’s a really cool way of putting it!

  3. Johnavon says:

    A spimle and intelligent point, well made. Thanks!

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