What’s Next, Papa?
Over the next week, some of our church family will visit our recent graduates to congratulate them on their accomplishments. Even if you’re not graduating, the end of a school year brings with it a sort of “ending” feeling – and especially right now with all the pandemic-related uncertainty, many of us may have a “what next” feeling. There’s a song from the late 90’s with a line that says “Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end” – a line the band borrowed from an ancient Roman philosopher called Seneca. I think this quote comforts those of us who feel a little anxious during times of transitions – when the ending of one thing hasn’t quite clearly pointed to the beginning of a new thing.
God’s Spirit beckons. There are things to do and places to go! This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike “What’s next, Papa?” (Romans 8:14-15 The Message)
No matter where the end of the school year takes you next – to middle school, high school, college, a job, or somewhere else entirely – know that the Father is with us always. He hears our “what’s next” questions and He is waiting to guide us, reassure us, and help us grow through each new experience and challenge that comes our way. So, let’s indeed be childlike, and look toward our futures with wonder and excitement.
I do want to take a moment to recognize our graduates and wish them well! In that spirit, I found a great “Top 10 list of things every graduate should know,” and I want to share it with you – I think it’s really good advice for all of us, whether you are graduating this year or not! And, it’s kind of funny too. So, even if college is a few years off for you, then feel free to file this away – either way, I hope it makes you smile. ?
Top 10 things Every Graduate Should Know
10. College squirrels are different than neighborhood squirrels. They’re not afraid of humans. Sometimes they’re bullies.
9. Make friends with campus police. You will park illegally at some point in your college career. Probably this semester.
8. Eating fruits and vegetables helps your body function properly. NOTE: Ramen noodles do NOT qualify as fruits or vegetables.
7. Say “thank you.” Gratitude is a lost art in our culture.
6. Carry an umbrella. It’s easy to spot freshmen – they never carry umbrellas. Don’t be a freshman that gets caught in a storm without an umbrella.
5. It’s OK to get homesick. Send a text, make a video call, or take a drive home. You’ll be glad you did.
4. Embrace failure. It’s inevitable, so learn to learn from your failures instead of being crippled by them.
3. Don’t skip class … much. Some days are too sunny to be spent indoors. But skipping class is almost always a bad idea.
2. Forge your own path. Besides God, no one understands the plans God has for you like you. Always seek good counsel, and be respectful even if you disagree. But do things the way God wants instead of what others want.
1. Follow hard after Jesus. When you’re at your college graduation party, if you want to look back over your years of college with a sense of joy, fulfillment, and purpose, pursue Jesus and a life that reveals his kingdom. You’ll have no regrets, and you’ll be living an amazing story.
Blessings to you all as summer begins, and Congratulations to our Graduates! I miss you!