Make it count, class of 2016!
Nearly four years ago, my husband and I had a conversation. Though he could easily give a discourse on the state of my memory, I do remember our words. After watching our older 2 graduate high school, we knew these four years would fly by. So as Aaron began his freshmen year, Gary & I committed to be there for band concerts & competitions, we signed up to work football concessions, and we followed the band around with a grill and griddle to cook hamburgers and grilled cheese. We didn’t want to miss these important moments with our youngest child.
Yet sure enough, the last four years have flown by. Tonight some 160 students will celebrate an accomplishment they have worked years to complete… some begrudgingly so. Regardless, this is their night to shine!
Not surprisingly, I awoke with the class of 2016 on my mind. I had the privilege of teaching a large number of these seniors. While trying to teach algebra 2 and calculus, I tried to teach the importance of integrity, of doing one’s best regardless of the task, and the importance of treating others with respect.
To the class of 2106, I have yet one more lesson and yes, it does involve some math for my students would expect nothing less! So for my kiddos, 3 points of wisdom I would like to pass on to you. Wisdom I hope you embrace and let enrich your life.
First, wasted days lead to wasted years that lead to a wasted life. I heard this on a podcast last night and was struck by its truth. Does this mean each senior needs to know his or her purpose in life by tomorrow? Absolutely not! The wisdom is to live life for and on purpose. Don’t waste your hours away watching TV, playing video games, or getting drunk. Don’t let fear hold you back from doing what you want to do. Go get a job, start college courses, go to tech training, join the military, start a family, bike cross country, etc. Just don’t waste the precious days of life before you.
“Whoever watches the wind will not plant; whoever looks at the clouds will not reap.” Ecclesiastes 11:4
Solomon was saying that if you wait for everything to fall perfectly into place, nothing would ever happen. For example, had we waited until we were financially secure to have children, we would still be childless.
Seniors, don’t waste your days!
Second, number your days. I would love to see each senior live long, happy lives. Yet the truth of the matter is our days are limited. Moses prayed this-
“Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90:12
This point of wisdom walks closely to the first one. The number of days we walk this earth is not without bound. For some, the number of days may sum to 80+ years. For others it may sum to young adulthood or middle age. When we begin each morning, we know not if it will be our last. I don’t mean that to be morbid but as words of advice- make every day count! Live on purpose! Rest on purpose! Don’t fill your calendar with so many to-do’s that you miss the joy of living each day!
Third, Solomon also wrote-
“Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come and the years approach…” Ecclesiastes 12:1
Never have I heard a God-follower say he or she was glad they waited so long to believe. Just the opposite! Testimonials often include a part where the speaker wishes they hadn’t waited, hadn’t wasted years before following Jesus.
Solomon had it all- wealth, power, lots & lots of women! He admits that he tried it all in his search for happiness yet it was here near the end of his life and the end of Ecclesiastes where he gives his conclusion: the only thing that gives true & lasting meaning in life is seeking after God.
Maybe you are already on the path. Good! Sick to it. Maybe you just aren’t sure about the whole God-Jesus thing because it sounds too far-fetched or you’ve’ seen too many hypocrites. I get it! So does God. God’s people are far from perfect so don’t look at us… look directly to God. Check out his Word, look at his handiwork in creation, and throw out a challenge to Him to show himself to you. If you question, look and seek, you will find the truth… God. God wants a relationship with you… not to see you check off a list of do’s and don’ts. Get the relationship started and you will find meaning for your life. Life won’t be perfect but it will be joyful even in troubles.
Class of 2016, my prayers follow you tonight and into the rest of your lives! Now, go and make each day count! God bless you!