Graduation season is upon us and my social media feed is filling with pictures of smiling young faces in their caps and gowns. I remember that feeling of hope and anticipation. Soon I would be leaving my small town in the mountains for a huge university on the edge of the ocean. I had no major or career in mind, just the freedom to become the woman God was making me, and I could hardly wait.
“When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me” Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians. And again in Philippians: “One thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
Part of growing involves leaving behind the comfortable in order to reach for something new. There can be sorrow in the letting go, as we enter that transition time between the now and the not yet. And sometimes the things we reach for don’t fulfill their promise.
Sometimes our transitions are not of our choosing. But our lives are not meant to be placeholders in this grand adventure, although we may drag our feet as we look over our shoulders to the might-have-beens behind us.
We can press on toward a goal, but we must do so from the knowledge of who God is, and who He has made us to be. Our end will not be marked by the things we have gained, but by the love we have given.
Paul was pressing towards a heavenly goal. Are we? If we are honest with ourselves, most of our goals are tethered to fulfilling our desires or relieving our emptiness.
The time is now. If we wait until a convenient time to answer God’s call, we risk wasting our lives on ourselves and our own shallow and temporary dreams instead of pouring them out on the altar of what matters.
Many of us are standing in the wings, about to walk the aisle toward an unknown future. Have we made ourselves ready, or have we frittered away our time while we wait for something better? Whether we teeter on the edge of something new or awake to another ordinary day, our time is limited.
All too soon we will graduate from this life. The books will be opened, and our motives will be revealed. How sweet it will be to hear “Well done” as we make the final transition into everlasting joy.