After Graduation

Psalm 37: 23-24 says, "Our steps are made firm by the Lord, when he delights in our way; though we stumble, we shall not fall headlong, for the Lord holds us by the hand." (NRSV)

While we were in school, we complained and struggled with the constant onslaught of projects, difficult classes, uncommunicative teachers, the hell that is group work, worry about maintaining our grade point average, and wondering if we could even finish the work.

We dreamed what life would be like when we finally had time. We dreamed about what we would do, places we would go, the people we would see. In our few spare moments, we did what we could to care for our current responsibilities. We woke early and stayed up late to study so we could work and serve during the day. Sleep was minimal and caffein was our constant companion.

Then, one day graduation came. At 57, I finally have a Master of Divinity. All the hard work finally paid off. We have all overcome many barriers to achieve something. We celebrated, posted pictures, and put up diplomas. We soon realized that the free time we thought would come was just an illusion. We realized that no matter what we accomplished, we had to make it happen. We had to intentionally set aside time for study, project completion, family, ministry, work, and self-care.

After graduation, we go from one season to the next. We realize that the nature of time does not change. We come to know that time must be directed intentionally. Productivity and growth in our ministries, work, and relationships do not just happen. These things are directed and positioned. Self-care and Sabbath does not just happen either. They must be scheduled and carried out.

I have heard retirees say they became busier in their retirement than when they were working. This happens because we choose to redirect time in each season of our lives. As our bodies, minds, and spirits give us ability, we are always able to do that which we truly desire.

My prayer for all of us is that we not be pulled in different directions at once. May we not be overwhelmed, nor constantly busy and trying to keep up with it all. In all of our seasons of life, may we be intentional to work and serve in areas that give glory to God. May we be intentional to connect more deeply with God, family and friends. May we be peacefully productive and ecstatically employed. Graduation has come and gone. As we await our final graduation to glory, may we study well, work with integrity, and serve with joy as God guides our steps each day.

God bless you,

Pastor Don.

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