Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Of Caps and Gowns

It's graduation time again. Millions of young men and women are donning the cap and gown to celebrate finishing high school and college and the open road that leads to their futures. That road can seem like either a boundless horizon or a terrifying step into the unknown. One of those grads is my son, so I've been thinking of the doorway that stands open before him -- and the millions of others out there on that same threshold.

Finally, all that hard work on class papers, readings, projects, and tests will have paid off. But while you were busy jumping through all those hoops to earn your diploma, God was hard at work too. He has lined up all kinds of people, situations and opportunities through which He will keep you close to His side. From there He will guide you to the vocation that will be most satisfying and meaningful for you in the years and decades to come.

In the coming days He will bring some amazing people into your life; just be wise enough to listen to them and learn from them. Now that doesn't mean you should automatically accept everything they tell you. You need to weigh their advice alongside what God tells you through daily Bible reading and regular church attendance.

Yes, God's been hard at work, but (no surprise here) so has Satan. He's especially excited about your newfound freedom and independence. He's trying to catch your eye with those things your parents wouldn't let you do -- things they warned you against. He's laid out some attractive temptations that will play on your pride, vanity and sinful desires.

But your Lord Jesus has been through all that before. Remember, He was once young like you. But He knows those temptations for what they really are: minefields. Step in the wrong place and you'll be living with hurt and regret, and maybe even some closed doors for the rest of your earthly life.

In other words, proceed with measured caution.

The great thing is Jesus is going along with you, ready to guide you with His Word. His Ten Commandments are like a map to navigate that minefield. They clue you in on temptations to avoid, and make clear the path that will keep those complications and their explosive shrapnel out of your path. Even when you do fail -- and you will, we all do -- He'll be right there by your side to forgive you, cleanse you, get you back up on your feet again, and set you on your way.

Sure, it will be tempting to stand on your own, making your own way, doing it your way. But do you want your life to be satisfying? Meaningful? Impactful? If so, then seek to walk with Christ. Stay alongside Him, and you will move mountains together.

What advice would you have for a new high school or college graduate? Please take a moment and click here to share your wisdom and guidance with those at this critical juncture in their lives.

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