To the students who have stuck with it all the way through…Congraduations!
If you are like me, the prodding fear is not the unknown future, but the “to-do” list to get there. This “to-do” list has things for you to do that you have never needed to be so dependent on for life, and the worst part is…you may not be sure where the “to-do’s” are taking you!
The first thing to know about the “to-do” list after high school is that the things on the list hold a lot more weight than before. We can make poor decisions in high school that get us a couple days in ISS, whereas the same decisions out of high school gets us jail time. We can blow our money in high school and it cost us the keys to daddy’s truck, a hot date or a sleep-over, after high school, it can cost the whole truck, our home or our career. Things tend to escalate a bit more quickly when there is more responsibility.
The first “to-do” in your life is to listen to your parents (or whoever raised you). You may have questioned their judgment in high school, but that is behind you. I can promise you your parents know what is best for you right now, because they will always remember the important decisions they had to make at this point in their life. In fact, they can help you excel further than they have if you will but yield to them and listen.
Secondly, start earning consistent wages. If you are going to college on loans, get a part-time job. Those loans will add up quickly. If you are going to school on scholarship, earn your wages by maintaining that scholarship. This means keep your grades up to standard, play hard ball or continue to be creative in your unique way…whatever you have to do. No one is paying for you without cause or purpose, but someone is paying for you because they believe in you and want to invest in your future. Do not take advantage of people’s money or faith. If you are not going to school, that is alright, you do not have to. You do, however, need to start working to find not only a job, but a career.
Thirdly, it is time for you to build. Proverbs 24:3-4 says, “Through wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches.”
I was in construction classes all throughout high school. My dad is an expert at anything to do with construction, so I was always around it. Throughout high school I worked construction jobs. After high school I was on a crew that framed houses and we performed demolition jobs as well. I went on to work for two different roofing companies. Well guess what, I am still terrible at construction work. Does this mean that all of those years were wasted time? Absolutely not. As I pondered on how to build whatever it was my boss wanted me to build, I did not know the only thing that was really building was my character.
To the graduating students, what has been given you is a platform. Just as water mixes with mortar to make concrete; your education, the family values you have obtained and the experiences you have lived mix together to provide a solid foundation beneath you to build on and it is up to you to build on it.
Do not outlive your faith in Jesus, but live it out. In Matthew 7:24-25, Jesus tells us that whoever listens to Him, it is like he who builds on the rock; that when the rain descends and the storm hits, the house on the rock will stand. Whatever you do in your life, and wherever you wind up, make sure you build your life on the solid rock of Jesus Christ.
The two greatest “do’s” in your life are love God with all your heart, soul, and mind; and love your neighbor as yourself. (Matthew 22:37-39) On these two principles hang the life God wants you to live.
A foot in the right direction is miles of opportunity. You are no longer waiting on life; life is now waiting on you. Go get it.