Dear Graduate

Dear Graduate,

You made it through school and childhood. I’m so proud of you. I’m sure you are feeling on top of the world.

You’ve been dotted on, applauded to and celebrated over the last several weeks and the in the craziness of it all, you’ve masked the fact that deep down inside, you’re a bit scared and anxious about the uncertain future ahead of you.

In the next few months you will leave the nest, the protection of the only home you’ve ever known and the rules that have been in place. No doubt, you think you are ready for this new found freedom. Shockingly, you discover a strange gratefulness for the boundaries that were put in place to protect you and you feel a bit ungrounded at the thought of life without them.

Everyone tells you to use your wings and fly, but you haven’t yet tested them, and the wind feels a bit unsettling.

Yes, the winds will blow and come at you in all directions. Your new found freedom will allow you to make many choices.

Your destiny will be determined by the moments that make up your days and the days that turn to years and the years that become your life.

Choose your moments wisely.

Choose your friends with caution and care. You become the company you keep. Surround yourself with those who make good decisions and wise choices. Find friends who see the big picture, love others and aren’t trying to fit in regardless the cost. Find friends who don’t throw caution to the wind and live recklessly. Find friends who love life and treat it with respect.

Choose to spend your time well. Don’t waste your days, your conversations and your talents. Work hard, seizing every opportunity to make the most of the time you’ve been given. Every breath is a gift, every moment precious, every life sacred. Don’t be fooled into thinking it will last forever. Time goes fast. And every year will go faster.

Choose your mate with prayer and consideration. Don’t follow your heart, inform it. Don’t fall for anyone, fall for the right one.

Look for the one who will treat others with respect. Look for the one who will honor your time, your money and your body. Look for the one who cares for the neglected and lonely. Look for the one who is willing to do the things unnoticed, the one who will work hard and encourage you to do the same.

Look for the one who loves Jesus.

And when the winds blow, hold on tight. They will sometimes blow hard. Life won’t always be easy. There will be hills and valleys. Maybe you haven’t experienced it yet, but people will let you down. Someone will break your heart. You will get a bad grade, your car will break down or a friend will suddenly die. You will need to find an anchor that will hold to something firm, a source of joy and peace outside of yourself and anyone or anything else.

Anchor down to Jesus.

Seek Him. Study the Word and search the scriptures like you’re digging for gold. They will make you wise. They will lead you on the good path, the way of abundance.

God doesn’t promise security in money or circumstances, people or fleeting pleasures, but in Him. Love Him more than anything and everything will be possible. Seek first the kingdom of God and all the other things will be added to you.

Finally, find hope and joy in the Lord — not in that hot new date, not in the degree you hope to earn, not in that job that will make you money or the attention you hope to garner from your friends.

Sure, enjoy life and the many blessings that come along, but fight to find satisfaction in God alone.

He will be the anchor for your soul and the wings for your flight.

I hope you soar.

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