Okay. what's next?
It is the time of the year again when many people are looking forward to graduating from high school or college. I have been reminded recently about those very special times in my life. I had the privilege of graduating from high school back in the dark ages. On June 7, 1967, I walked across a stage in Toledo, Ohio, to receive a signed document stating that I had fulfilled all the obligations needed to receive a high school diploma. It wasn’t until years later, May 17, 1991, that I received a document stating that I had fulfilled all the requirements to receive a Bachelor of Science degree in Pastoral Studies. It was at the ripe old age of 35 that I sensed the call of God on my life to seek serving Him in full-time ministry as a pastor. Deciding to go back to school at that age took a lot of searching and seeking information from many others who had done that very same thing. Thankfully I was able to find people who were willing to listen to me and give some excellent advice. It probably has been one of the most important decisions that I have ever made in my life. Life is all about making decisions.
I am sharing these details about my journey because during this time of year there will be many who will walk across a stage and receive a diploma because of all their hard work. Studying and taking tests and showing up every day faithfully to class because they want to better themselves in this world. I hope and pray that those individuals will take a few moments to continue to interact with people who have been through exactly what they are going through.
You will make some decisions that will affect you for the rest of your life. Listen to your parents and teachers and pastors and family members; they may be wiser than you realize. They will be more than willing to share with you some of their victories and defeats. Hopefully, they will advise you to never give up. You will have many opportunities throughout your life to make changes. Thankfully, the God of the universe gives all of us chances to make changes and to start over. I wouldn’t be where I am today if I hadn’t made a decision to follow Christ at age 30. He has given many more opportunities than I have ever deserved. Thankfully, I have chosen to follow Him no matter what.
So, what’s next?
It may be helpful for all of you graduates to pause right after you get your diploma and thank God for the privilege of receiving the great education that you have. Thank Him, for all the teachers and counselors and coaches and so many others who have been there to support you. Last, but surely not forgotten, thank Him for the parents, who brought you into this world and have given almost everything but their life to see that you got the education that you will need to continue to be a productive citizen in the GREATEST country in the world. Praise God for all that He does for us!!!!