Recently, I read "Why They Stay." The book discusses reasons that young people give for their continuing to be involved in church life.
The two authors spent a great deal of time and effort researching the subject in order to help churches do a better job of serving people under age 30.
One key element to this endeavor is quite relevant to this week. High school seniors on both ends of our county will receive their diplomas Saturday. Graduation day is a big deal. You walk the stage, move the tassel and keep looking at the diploma to make certain that it is real.
Did I really accomplish this?
Sometime late in the evening, once all the food has been consumed at the party, reality sets in. High school is over. What do I do now?
The fact is that most graduates have a plan. I’m going to college. I’m joining the Army. I’ve got a job. I’m going to travel the world. There is a plan in place. But carrying out that plan can be intimidating. What do I do? Where do I go? How will I get there?
We need to be reminded that graduation is often called, "Commencement." To "commence" is not to finish. It is to start.
We need to remember that graduation is not an end. It is only the beginning. Most of life is still to be lived. That’s why graduation speakers talk about the past and the future. We learn from the past. But there is excitement as we move toward where we are going.
I want to remind you that this is true, in some ways, for each of us every day. We have no promise of tomorrow. But for today, we are called to live.
Jesus said, "I have come that they might have life, and have it more abundantly."
He was saying that we can live to the fullest degree as we follow him.
It may sound too strong for some, but I will say it anyway. To live for any purpose other than God’s glory in our lives is wasteful. It is a failure to fulfill the purpose he has for us.
Whether you are a new high school graduate or a retired senior citizen, take the challenge to live today for God’s glory. You will find true purpose and satisfaction in life as you do.