Thoughts from Pastor Linda
Today we are celebrating…YOU. And by YOU…I mean ALL OF YOU.
Class of 2020, we’re celebrating the fact that you made it to the end of high school. Is this year anything like what you’ve imagined? Probably not. But your achievement and your high school years have been incredible, and you moving to the next stage of life is absolutely a reason to celebrate! This celebration is for EVERYBODY in your family.
Starting Now. I love that phrase because today, not only we’re celebrating where you’ve been, but we’re also talking about what’s next for you. Let’s start with where you’ve been:
Chances are, the last few years were filled with some amazing memories, some big wins, some big losses, some major milestones, and some really hard work. Today, we want you to share some of those moments with the people around you. In fact, before today is over, I want you to choose a photo that represents your time in high school. It can be a graduation photo, a sports pic, or a goofy picture with your friends. Then, make a note about something you’ll remember from this year and share it with the people celebrating with you today. You can talk about it at dinner, send it in a family group text, or post it to your social media. You don’t have to make a speech or write anything fancy. Just share one photo of something you want to remember.
Your friends and family will want to hear from you, because, after all, YOU are the reason they’re celebrating!
Now, let’s talk about what’s next. By this point, you’ve probably already made some big decisions about what happens next in life, and there will be more decisions after that. Maybe more than ever before, the choices you make in your life are up to you. STARTING NOW, your decisions about— who your friends are, what you do with your time, the kind of people you date, how you handle money, and how you treat other people.
All these will have big effects on the quality and the direction of your life long after high school. Maybe that kind of responsibility is exciting. Maybe it’s terrifying. Either way, it’s a lot of pressure. So, let me take some pressure off. Here’s what I want you to know:
Making decisions FOR yourself isn’t the same as making them BY YOURSELF. Is your responsibility growing? Sure. But you’re not on your own with it. There are family members around you right now who care about you, and who are here for you any time you need advice, encouragement, or just someone to listen. And, there are people outside your home who know you and love you and will be cheering for you in the next stage of life.
Seniors, I want you to know that the people around you could not be prouder of you right now. Today is a big day for them, too! Chances are, your family or the people you live with have been cheering for you, praying for you, and thinking about your future for a long time—maybe even before you were born. And STARTING NOW, you should know that they’re behind you—cheering no matter what— and they’re WITH you any time you need them.
In fact, I invite those people speak to you directly. For those reading take a few moments to answer.
I AM PROUD OF YOU BECAUSE “________________ ”
ONE THING I HOPE FOR YOUR FUTURE IS “______________ ”
I hope these comments will remind you that while you are moving on from this stage of life, you’re not moving away from the relationships that mattered to you in high school. Your parents, your family members, your
church, and leaders are still going to be around. The way you hang out with them may change, but your relationship with them will continue to be a part of your life for the rest of your life.
So, call them and keep them updated on your life. Let them encourage you and celebrate you next year just like they are right now. And don’t forget to ask questions. Nobody expects you to know everything on your first day of adult life. It’s okay to phone a friend, or an uncle or an aunt or a pastor or a mentor or a…you get the idea. In fact, you don’t have to wait until you move away or live in a different city to begin those conversations.
Now, before the day is over, I hope and imagine your family is going to share a meal together. Families like to do that. As you do, take a moment to thank them for what they meant to you in high school and maybe even share that photo we talked about earlier. And family members, spend today telling your senior how proud you are and what you hope for them in the next stage of life.
Remember, even though graduation may not look how we’ve had in mind, the CELEBRATION is still on. Today is a day worth celebrating because YOU are a person worth celebrating.
Now, on behalf of everybody with you right now, and everyone reading and driving by your posted lawn signs…CONGRATULATIONS CLASS OF 2020. We’re so proud of you and we can’t wait to see what happens next.