It is graduation time. To the many college and high school graduates we offer our congratulations as they begin their transition from one world to another. For some graduation might seem the end of a journey. In reality it is only a new beginning.
Our lives are filled with new beginnings. They are the cycles of death and resurrection that permeate our lives beginning with being thrust into the world at our birth and ending with our final departure at death. Our journey from womb to tomb is marked by many death/resurrection events; graduation, marriage, parenthood, and retirement, all of life’s passages. The pattern is always the same. We leave the familiar and comfortable behind and step into opportunity and uncertainty.
What does the future hold? What is on the road ahead? Where will it lead?
For our college graduates the future can lead to advanced study or the beginning of a career. Each of the two roads offers challenges and opportunities, and obstacles to overcome. Choices are critical and not easy in an uncertain world. Prayerful discernment and wise counsel are necessary.
Our high school graduates face similar choices; college or the work force. The university is a new and very different world full of new ideas, a time to confront and explore the wisdom of ages. Those who choose to put their education on hold face the daunting challenge of making it on their own. For many, the decision will be an economic one.
In the course of their education our graduates have acquired many tools that will assist them on their journies, but of all those tools, the most important is faith: faith in oneself and faith in God, for every journey is ultimately a journey to God.
I am reminded of a poem by Ella Wheeler Wilcox that sums it up pretty well.
One ship sails East,
and another West,
by the self-same winds that blow,
’tis the set of the sails
and not the gales,
that determines the way we go.
Like the winds of the sea
are the waves of fate,
as we journey along through life,
’tis the set of the soul,
that determines the goal,
and not the calm or the strife.