This is my article that was published today in the Natoma-Luray Independent of The Russell County News. It will be published again in 2 weeks in The Plainville Times.
A message to the Graduates
Congratulations! You have graduated. What are you going to do now?
I remember getting asked that question a lot when I graduated. The diploma was barely warm in my hands, and I was already being asked to put it down and to go out and change the world. Perhaps you feel the same way; all you want to do is sleep until noon, and everyone around you is already looking ahead to the next step.
In my own situation, the answer to ‘what are you going to do now’ was quite different the day I graduated high school from the day I graduated college. It was not exactly planned that way, but that is the way it happened.
There is no guarantee that the answer you give today and in the coming weeks will be the same answer you give in a year or in four years. Circumstances change, things happen, classes are harder then you thought, the experience is not as enjoyable as you hoped, and the end result is not what you pictured.
For the past twelve years, you knew what you were going to do come late August/early September; you would make your way to a familiar school building and see familiar faces and do familiar things. This year, that will not be the case, you will at the very least see different faces in different places.
So the answer to ‘what are you going to do now’ is not as simple, because the future you embark upon is an unknown from what you have done in the past.
But let me tell you what is known. The future that you enter may be cloudy to you, but it is known to God. God has known every step of your life thus far, and He knows every step that you will take into the future.
As you pose for pictures with family and friends, as you celebrate with your favorite foods, as you admire the cake before you cut into it, as each well-wisher asks you ‘what are you going to do know’, you can answer with confidence that you will do what God has planned for you; you will go where He has called you; you will follow where He leads you.
And if that includes changing the world, then that is what you are going to do.
God Bless! Pastor Michael Schmidt