“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”– Rom. 8:28
Dear Graduating Class of 2014,
Congratulations! You did it! You made it through an amazing 4 years of high school with teachers, friends, and crazy adventures. For the past 13 years, maybe less or more, you have been learning and experiencing new things within a classroom of some sort. You have earned awards, trophies, grades (some good and some bad), and much more that you can hold on to and cherish forever…or until you decide you need to move and throw away some stuff.
For some it has been less of a great experience. Some of you could not wait to be done with High School. The drama, the backstabbing, the bullying, and the struggle of figuring out who you are all played into the feeling of “It’s FINALLY Over!” To those who have felt this way, I must say, you are not alone. This is a reality for so many young people right now, but I must also say, celebrate your experience because you made it through!
For both parties, those who loved high school and those who loathed it, these words are for you. This is a great accomplishment that deserves celebration. You have reached a milestone in this life where quitting is so simple. You fought through the struggle of adolescence, which is still going on a bit, and have discovered that you can push through and succeed. Your struggles have developed strength, character, and determination that will serve you well as you enter into the new chapter of life.
God has created each and every one of you for a special purpose. You are meant to change the world. Yes, it is alright to strive for good money, a nice house, nice clothes, and a better life. However, the way you change the world is not by achieving those things, but using those things to make the lives of others better. Your money is great for nice dinners, a nice computer, and even a good coffee (which you will need…trust me), but it will also be great to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and take care of those who are not cared for. Your nice clothes will be great, but think about who you are buying from when you purchase those clothes. Are you hurting an innocent child in a sweat shop? Or are you helping a community of under-resourced individuals discover a new way to be sustainable? You choose. Your coffee, food, and computer will be nice, but make sure you are choosing wisely. Do not over indulge; the obesity issue is already huge. Do not allow yourself to become dependent on coffee, rest and regain energy naturally. Use your computer for healthy activities and do not allow it to become a tool of evil or destruction of your emotional, spiritual, and personal life.
You are made to make a difference! All of you! Trust your abilities. Know that you have been developed and created to encourage and uplift others. Use your gifts and talents to do just that. Change the world! It is our call to step into life and do the best with it as possible. Allow God to move and guide you in order to make the world a better place and enhance His Kingdom here! Congrats again and may everything you choose to do, even if it changes several times, be something you are passionate about and, ultimately, brings glory to God more than you! Trust me, that’s how you know you’re successful.
A Youth Worker, who knows your potential!
(This was originally posted as a message to graduates in 2013)