To the Class of 2014

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Once again this year I was asked to deliver a the challenge at Rock County Christian School’s graduation service.  Like usual I went a little off script…  This is what I meant to say:

And now it is my great honor to look at you all on this day with pride.  I am proud of each and every one of you.  You have earned this moment.  You have worked hard and you have endured much.  And now it is my job to say, you are not ready.  You’re just not ready for the world that awaits you.  Not only are you not ready, but I’m not ready for you to be ready.  And I know your parents feel that way, and then some.  There is just so much more I want to teach you.  There is so much more I want you to know.  Think about all of those history chapters we zoomed through toward the end of the year. Remember all those Current Event notes you slept through – I’d kind of like you to know those things.

You are about to enter into a world that you will have trouble navigating through.  It will require wisdom, knowledge and insight that is way beyond your years.  I want to walk you through those time.  I want to be there with you and show you what to do.  But, that is not my job.  My job with you ends today.  It’s time to let you go.  Its time to leave the nest and fly.  But, no you’re not ready.

However, you are not alone.  My mind travels back in the upper room as Jesus informs his disciples that he will be leaving them.  But, he says not only am I leaving you, but this is good for you.  It’s good for me to leave you.  That doesn’t make sense, does it?  But he promised, you will not be orphans.  You will not be alone.  I will give you the Holy Spirit.  It will be the Spirit that will guide you, teach you and comfort you.

And that brings me to verse I want you to walk out of here remembering.  It’s Philippians 1:6 – “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”  I want to teach you more, but in the end, my goal is not to make you disciples of Kevin Thompson, or of RCCS or even of your parents.  The goal is to have you dependent upon God.  You see, while I’ve been teaching you these past years, I didn’t start this work.  You were handed to me by other teacher, maybe even going as far back as Mrs. Holcomb in kindergarten.  Though she considers many of you her children (and I get that), she was handed a work in progress as well.  And even though your parents were there from day one, they received a work in progress.  You see, the Lord has had a plan for from before the foundation of the world.  And the good news is, he will bring to completion.  I can let you go because I know God will do His work.  In this rough world, you are in the hands of the living God.

Parents, you can let go.  Trust the Lord to does His work.  The Spirit will do his work.  He will complete the job.  Students, this is something you too need to realize.  You’re not ready for this world.  Though some of you have come through so much already, there is more to come.  It doesn’t get easier at this point.  Right now you are excited about the future.  But perhaps in a year’s time there will be trials and struggles that right now you are unable to see.  You are going to be discouraged.  You’re going to wonder how on earth you could ever get through this.  The truth is, though we’ve done a lot of work here – there’s no way we can prepare you for everything.  That’s why it always irritates me to hear someone say, “well, they never taught us about this in school…”  They’re probably right because we can’t teach you everything – but we can teach you where to look and give you the tools you need to learn more.  Here’s the tool I want you to use when those troubling times come – “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”  That’s the essence of the gospel – its not about getting tougher or working harder – its about trusting Him and His plan. 

Look to the future with excitement.  Though tough times are coming, they will not be then.  Someday you will see, it will have been worth it all.  Why, because God is sovereign over all things.  He is the master designer who knows what you need to go through to be the person He plans for you to be.  He will complete the job.  He will never leave you, though sometimes you feel alone.  He has not quit, though sometimes you may lose all hope.  He is faithful.  He will complete what he has started.  Trust in his plan.

“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”

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