As another crop of seniors graduate, I’m reminded that I’m getting old; a fact of life that, sooner or later, we all must face. It is a challenge being a senior, and with the completion of one or the conquest of another, there arises yet another challenge with new and different situations that must be confronted. It is all a preparation for something greater (2 Timothy 4:7-8).
I remember my graduation (vaguely; ancient history, you know). I was never so glad to get out of school. But, even before the “pomp and ceremony” had ceremonially pomped, I had decided to go to college. Out of the frying pan and into the fire; and another stage of life. That great sense of accomplishment in graduating High School was so short-lived. We had no sooner tossed our caps into the air than someone was sneering: “Now, you’re in the real world” (which made me wonder if the one I’d been in was a fake, explaining my second grade teacher’s hair). And then, there was that old familiar line from the oh-so-abused laboring masses: “No more free ride for you, Bubba, you’ll have to work for a living now.” I’d been working part-time for two years and I still managed to eat off of Mom and Dad for another.
I suppose those well-meaning souls weren’t trying to see just how miserable they could make me during an already neurotic stage of life, but I distinctly remember feeling a great burden settle down heavily upon my shoulders. All of the ‘privileges’ of High School, the status of being a senior and on the varsity squad, all of this was gone. I was young, inexperienced in the job market, a freshman in college and on the bottom… again.
We humans crave constancy and security, and it is so elusive. We develop patterns early in our life and quickly become comfortable with them. We resist those who challenge our “comfort zones,” including family, spouse, teachers, government and even preachers. All our life we fight change, simultaneously saving up for that elusive “security” which, in our old age, will allow us to maintain our comfort. Still, there are events in our life that challenge us: a wedding, college graduation, a job change, moving the family, a loved one’s death. These will be your challenges.
Seniors, your graduation is not an end but the beginning of a long line of challenges to your comfort zones; do not allow them to be a threat. How you deal with challenges will affect your course in life and your eternity; and you are again beginning. Accept the senior challenge and “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might” (Ecclesiastes 9:10).