And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father. – Colossians 3:17
One of my “top ten” bucket-list items would be fielding an invitation to give a graduation address. High school, or college, I’d love to speak to either one. I think it’s because I’m so committed to and so animated by the concept of promise.
Promise is a central theme in my life. Even now, well into my early 60’s, I can see so much potential in the upcoming years, and I remain more than enthusiastic about what is possible.
It’s not just the fact that these graduates have a blank slate on which to make their mark, it’s the limitlessness of the promise. They have so much time ahead, and so many potential directions they can take. That’s why one of the first things I’d offer would be some encouragement to deep dive into a classical or liberal arts education.
It doesn’t matter if they’re headed into the arts, the sciences, or something previously unimagined, I’d encourage young people to broaden their exposure to literature, and philosophy, and history, and religion – to learn how to think critically, to respect other people’s points of view, to problem-solve, to write, and to ask challenging questions.
Rebekah and I were happy, then, Saturday lunchtime, to stop by the graduation party for one of our church youth, Jack Fuller. Most of our grads are celebrating next weekend, when we’re already on vacation, so – for us – Jack had to represent them all. And I believe – especially in terms of what he has achieved over the past few years – he can carry that banner with pride.
Another highlight of the weekend was the dinner we enjoyed with our WFPC koinonia group, Friday evening. It was – as always – a wonderful gathering, featuring amazing food, great conversation, and a delightful group of people. But just about everything else was upstaged by the four Australian Shepherd mix puppies our hosts are fostering for a rescue group. Talk about unrivaled cuteness!
We also had the pleasure of a lightening fast visit from Naomi, Craig, and the grandchildren. They’re on their way to Disney for a week-long family vacation, so they arrived in Wake Forest Friday evening, then took off down the road again before 6:30 Saturday morning. But what a joy to see them all!
The point of all this – on a Sunday morning – is that life comprises a constant series of come-at-you-fast events. There’s always something going on, always something with the potential to nudge us along our journey. The question – just like the one I’d love to unpack with a graduating class – is this: “Do we engage these moments with a sense of promise, and wonder, and creativity?”
“Do we engage these moments with a sense of promise, and wonder, and creativity?”
That’s what our faith in God encourages us – and equips us – to do. Every day is another chapter in this beautiful story.
That fact – this promise – amounts to one more in a long list of reasons I’ll be in church this morning… to celebrate, to give thanks, and to walk more deliberately in the light.
Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there’s always something new in the works.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.
Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.