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Posts Tagged ‘#graduating’

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I recently read a line that said,

“Congratulations, high school graduate … on completing the easiest phase of life.”

I laughed heartily in agreement.

Sometimes, as full fledged adults we forget that the level of ‘difficult’ in life has little to do with what we are going through, and more to do with how we feel, how we cope, whether we succeed or fail.

High school graduation is something worth celebrating.

And it is the season for celebrating just that.

I’ve been thinking about some of those who are graduating this season, and thinking about what I want to share with each of them … but, there are so many of them! So, I have decided to narrow my thoughts to what I would would want to wish for all of them.

Last year, while working in a grade 12 Bible class, the teacher shared something that I believe to be both simple and profound.

“I am saved

I am being saved

I will be saved”

To the high school graduate, moving from the more dependent phase of life, into the more independent phase, I believe you need to have the haunting knowledge that you are loved by the creator of your DNA … (the basis of life). I believe you need to know that that creator has not only created you, not only loves you, but that same creator was, and is, and will never stop redeeming you from all that would keep you from your creator.

Romans 8:38-39 gives us assurance of the power of our creator, God:

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” 

It is that assurance that allows parents the ability (albeit not always eagerly) to let you go off into your life’s adventures (but don’t forget to come back and share your experiences with ol’ mom and dad). It is that assurance that allows new graduates to know that they do not go off into their futures alone.

So, congratulations, high school graduate!

Know that I will be praying for your future to be haunted … by the knowledge of the pursuit of your creator.

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 This past Friday I was honored to speak to the graduates of the school that my kids have attended, and I where I work. The following is (with the exception of memories of specific teachers, replaced with what was omitted) what I said, as I spoke to the grads, on behalf of the staff. I will miss this group SO!

Psalm 40:5 tells us, “Many, Lord my God, are the wonders you have done, the things you have planned for us”

And in the words of author Jane Austen, “This is an evening of wonders, indeed.”

I speak to you on behalf of the entire staff of this school; the custodians, administrators, coaches, international co-ordinators, educational assistants, office staff, secretaries, librarians and technicians, and councilors, and each staff member is cheering you on.

With the exception of a certain redhead, whose momma will make her remember, most of you will never remember who spoke at your graduation ceremony, or what they said. Still I am honored to speak to you this evening.

I have always felt a certain fondness for this class. I was there, as a mom, when many started kindergarten. In grades 7-12, I was there as and Educational Assistant, experiencing the learning and boredom of classrooms, hearing your secrets (oh yes I did, and I will be offering those secrets to your parents later … for the right price). Many of you have been at my home, eaten at my table, peed in my pool. I have scolded you, listened to you, hugged you … I have felt more like my job title with you was class mom, than EA.

Just three weeks ago, I sat in chapel, beside my co-worker, and two of my favorite grads, one who turned to me and did the Loser sign on his forehead … because sometimes love comes in the form of a capital L on the forehead. 

I started feeling reflective.

As a grad class, you are athletes (in and out of school), writers, artists, techies, scientists, activists, poets, foodies, mathematicians, musicians, theologians, gamers, historians, dancers, those involved in textiles, theatre, automotive, debating, woodworking, and social causes.

You are all uniquely created, with specific needs and strengths.

For most, if not all of you, the choice to attend LCS was not your own, but that of someone in your life who wanted you … their kids, grandkids, nieces and nephews, to appreciate that God is present and interwoven in everything from literature, to sciences, to automotive, to art, to history, as all of creation reflects the Creator.

It is our hope that you leave here with a better understanding of how the sacred absorbs the secular. How making a loaf of bread, acting on stage, fixing an engine, doing work experience, writing a poem, calculating math problems, can be an expression of God within you.

Although you may have been reminded directly and indirectly of the presence of God in our world, the context of school, even a Christian school, is such that you might be ready to walk away from our school feeling that you have received more judgment, than acceptance. If that is the case, this is what I, what we, want you to know.

God loves you.

CS Lewis has said,

“The great thing to remember is that, though our feelings come and go, His love for us does not. It is not wearied by our sins, or our indifference; and, therefore, it is quite relentless in its determination that we shall be cured of those sins, at whatever cost to us, at whatever cost to Him.” CS Lewis 

Like the Hound of Heaven (a poem I encourage you to read), God will pursue all of your life, for He who began a good work in you, will continue His work until it is finished.

May you leave here tonight knowing that He loves you, and may you leave here tonight not running from Him, but running the race with Him.

And now, if the grads would please stand, as I offer a blessing to you.

This is the blessing that God gave to Moses, to bless His chosen people:

“The Lord bless you,

and keep you;

the Lord make His face shine upon you,

and be gracious to you;

the Lord turn His face toward you

and give you peace.”

Amen

 

  

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“Oh my, they need to be done!”

Said a wise woman (myself), multiple times in the past couple of weeks (hours?), of the grade twelve students at our school.

I was convinced that my noticing that these (really, they are lovely) students need to be done was because I am almost exclusively working with students in grade 12, and my own daughter is in her final year. But, other, more wise and experienced staff assure me, this happens every year, at this time.

The evidence of what I am speaking about includes disinterest (in classes, events, even peers), disengagement (of studies, of others), disorder (if I hear once a class, I hear a dozen times, “stop talking!”), and distance (ie. from the school building, due to absences … with or (mostly) without approval).

My secret (so much for secret now) personal desire is that we gather every senior student in a room tomorrow morning, and say, “please do not come back to classes next week. Yes there are classes scheduled until next Thursday, but please, stay home.”

In the past week I have heard the following from a handful of students, regarding everything from absences, dress code, coming late, contributing to class discussions, etc:

“what are they going to do if I don’t ________? I’m done in a few days”

sigh …

My mantra is one that I say (repeatedly) to myself at this point in the school year, when the days are warm, and the evenings are long, and I am longing for summer break:

FINISH WELL

The work is not done until it is complete, and I/we need to strive to complete our task with the same energy and zeal that we began with.

2 Corinthians 8:11 reminds us of something similar to my mantra:

“now finish the work
so that your eager willingness to do it
may be matched by your completion of it,
according to your means”

This is a reminder to myself, as well as to those eager graduates in waiting, to finish well … only four more days of classes …

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