Graduation, either from high school, college or university, is the subject about which I speak.
The very day this Irrigator hits driveways in the Patterson community, our local high schools (Del Puerto and Patterson High) will hold their commencement ceremony. Several of those seniors I have had the honor of knowing throughout their middle and high school years (I’m proud of you Nick, Elena and Anna from Central Catholic High School).
So what do these graduates need?
First, they will need prayer. Graduating from high school or college usually means a change that is rather drastic. Many will be moving away from their family to attend school or take jobs. Two of our three sons did just that within 90 days of high school graduation. They had to grow up and start taking care of so many new daily concerns. So, pray for those you know that are graduating.
Second, they will need some encouragement. Buy them a card and stick a check in it with a personal note from you. Tell them that you will be praying for them. Shake their hand and/or give them a hug. Every graduate needs it as the challenges that lie ahead are more than most of them can imagine.
Our middle son lived at home while going through his undergraduate and graduate work at the University of the Pacific. Then he moved 1,000 miles away. That gave him some extra time to grow up and be ready for some of the crazy stuff that being an adult throws at a person.
One other thing: some of the parents of our graduates will need prayer and encouragement as well. Saying good-bye to your child comes with different levels of difficulty. My wife and I still have some tough days because we would like to be able to hug our sons. The oldest has been gone since August 2005 and lives 1,800 miles from us. Other than Christmas vacation, and maybe another trip in the summer, phone calls and Skype are the only ways of connecting.
Here is a passage from the Christian Bible that helps me keep all this in perspective: Psalm 18:1-2. The God of Jesus Christ promises to be my fortress, deliverer, rock and more. As parents, our job is to raise our children and send them out. Be sure that you are seeking this loving God and the peace that only He can give. Parents and students alike will do good to remember this.
Graduates, congratulations and keep working harder than ever before.
I’m here if you need me, neighbor.
The Rev. Ken Hasekamp is pastor of Adventure Christian Fellowship. Sermon notes is a column by local religious leaders.