Last month our youngest child graduated from high school. During the graduation exercises I was thinking about the word commencement. Commencement means a beginning or to start something. Somehow commencement suits the occasion better than just the word graduation which means to complete a course of study and receive a certificate or diploma. Finishing high school is considered to be one of the big three life events; marriage and the birth a child being the other two. In all three cases in order for something new to begin something else usually ends and oftentimes others are affected as well; the beginning of something for one person can mean the end of something for someone else.
Fortunately, we don’t do life alone and even though we may not think so, what we do generally affects those around us, especially those closest to us. For Maggie, her high school and living at home days are coming to a close and university days are just around the corner. It’s an exciting time in her life for her to stretch her wings. For her mother and father, the child raising days are drawing to an end and empty nest days are the next leg of the journey, it’s also time for us to stretch our wings. It got me to reminiscing about the time I left home after high school. I was pretty self centered and rebellious at eighteen and I don’t think it ever once crossed my mind that my leaving the house may have an effect on my folks (Like Maggie, I was the youngest child in my family of origin). When I took my solo flight into adulthood it was pretty much all about me. I know today that my self centered choices and decisions sometimes caused pain to those closest to me. Thank goodness I am no longer that same person and I don’t have to live that way any more. That’s a good thing not only for me but for those around me, because even though it is my life, it’s not just about me, at least it isn’t if I claim to follow Christ. Following Christ means a person begins a new way of living life leaving the old way of life behind. In a couple months, when Maggie goes off to school I get another shot at more independence in my life and I have a chance at a do over! And, I can safely say that I won’t be pulling in to the old self service lane I once chose.
Thanks to God’s amazing grace, I have had a bunch of do over’s in my life, many chances at new beginnings. That’s a God thing because God’s business is second chances. Lamentations 3:22-23 tells us, “22Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. 23They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” (NIV).
Yup, that’s the truth, and it is because his great love is coupled with the fact he won’t throw me under the bus even if I deserve it as long as I turn back toward him. And that draws me to follow him and to want to love and serve him. So if you are reading this and the God of your understanding is an angry, vengeful God, you have my permission to fire that God. Or if you have no God at all I would like to offer to lend you to mine for a free, no obligation, money back guarantee, ninety day trial. And if you decide at the end of the trial period you don’t want to continue the relationship, He’ll gladly refund your misery.
So what do you say, care to commence a new life?
Be joy filled always,