Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash
Dear High School Senior,
You’ve made it! It is graduation time and an end to twelve or thirteen years of studying, learning, and growing up. You probably have some mixed feelings about this: excitement, relief, maybe a little fear? I have seen you grow as a student in the last four years; I have prayed for you, encouraged you, and hopefully challenged you. But as you are leaving my classroom, I pray that you are not leaving the things you have been taught. II Timothy 3:14 says, “But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them.”
You didn’t think you were done with learning, though, did you? I had you in literature class, remember, so I have one final diagram here for you to decipher. And in case you can’t read my mind as to why I chose these symbols, here’s a little help. (See below.)
- All of the symbols are placed in the foundation of the Cross. You build your life on this foundation. Every decision, every choice, every thought should be constructed on the foundational stones of the Cross and God’s Word. You may feel much pressure right now to decide what you want to do for your future. Honestly, many of the decisions you make in the next few years (except if you marry and have children) do not have to be permanent. You might choose to pursue one job and then switch to another. You might decide not to go to college next year but change your mind the next. But what should never change is that each decision you make is based on the firm foundation of God’s work for you on the cross.
- The first symbol is an open book. Even though your formal education may – or may not – end here, you should keep learning…keep opening books. Of course, the most important book you should keep opening is the Bible, but beyond that, keep reading books that help you grow. And you can learn from other sources as well. Listen to your parents and other godly people in your life. Find a mentor in your field of service or career who can guide you with godly wisdom. And even to old age, keep your mind open to learning God’s ways and will for your life.
- Do you remember the second symbol from Home Ec class? It is a flour sifter, used to sift out any impurities in baking and make the flour fine. You also need to sift out any impurities that you come across and be able to discern Truth from lies. Acts 17:11 says that the Bereans were more noble because they “searched the scriptures daily” to see if the teachings they were hearing were of God. The world bombards you with so many philosophies that it can be overwhelming. How do you know what to believe from all the many voices you hear? While you should listen to godly people, the bottom line is that you need to know the Scriptures well enough that you can lay all of these philosophies beside the Bible and determine which of them follow God’s Truth.
- The third image is a collection of math symbols. You may have wondered how you will ever use some of the math classes you have had, and granted, you may never need to use the quadratic formula in your life. But you will need to be logical…and that is something your math classes were based upon. Emotions always play a part in our lives; God created all humans with feelings. But be careful of basing major decisions such as loving a spouse, choosing a job or a ministry, or even following God’s calling on emotions only. Emotions can fade; logic will last.
- The last symbol you see is the sky. Your goal in life should always be eternal life in heaven. Hebrews 12:2 tells us to “ unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith.” The idea here is to focus on Jesus in heaven exclusively, ignoring any obstacles in the path. Of course, you will have tasks and relationships all your life, but these should never detract you from your ultimate goal. And if you ever stray from the way of God, return to the Cross and start your path from there again. When we read Pilgrim’s Progress in class, we saw how Christian was always headed for the Celestial City no matter what obstacles came in his way. Live your life so that you will one day enter heaven to hear God say to you, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”
I pray God’s blessings on you for all your future endeavors,