Finished, or only just beginning?
I have a confession to make. In my heart of hearts, I confess that sometimes I lack grace for people. It may only be an occasional, internal dialogue, but I’ve thought often enough of how so-and-so falls short that I’ve heard the holy conviction of Jesus’ Spirit whispering in my heart about it. Jesus’ own words remind me of the log in my eye, and I am reminded again by his sweet Spirit that it would be better to judge with grace than with scorn.
After all, that is my own story. The older I get, the more I look backwards and marvel at what grace I have been given. To this day, I do not know how this awkward, sometimes mean, and often self-righteous person ever made friends. But at every turn, I had friends who loved me, mentors who cared for me and listened to me, and many more besides who were patient with me when I simply needed the space to grow. And all of that is a remarkable gift from God that I find myself grateful for every day.
As our seniors graduate this weekend, I am reminded of what it means to end childhood and begin adulthood. For me, there was certainly a sense of independence gained. Graduation was also the true beginning of self-discovery as a person. But as I look back I realize that what graduation really meant for me was the beginning of recognizing God’s grace. And every day, I receive so much more as Jesus walks with me to grow my life and love to be more like his.
Our students may be finished with high school, but I know they’re only just beginning this journey of knowing grace themselves. This weekend we’ll take a few minutes in each service to acknowledge this turning point in their lives, but I’d love for you to consider taking a few minutes right now to lift these men and women up to God. Pray that as they start out in this world that they do so with Jesus. Pray that they know God’s grace, even as they may stumble and fall. And if you can bear it, continue to pray for them. Their journey is only just beginning.