We know the readership of our district publications. Let’s just say that not too many of you are young adults. So you may have to pass this one on to a recent high school or university graduate.
If you graduated this spring, I would like to serve up five underhanded, unexpected, and edgy blessings for your future. Jesus certainly surprised people with some of his unexpected blessings in Matthew 5:1-12, such as “Blessed are those who mourn…” and “Blessed are those who are persecuted…” Really?
In that same spirit here is a run of unexpected blessings I offer our recent graduates.
- May you be blessed to fail utterly more than once. I have learned more from my failures than from my successes. In failure we are humbled. We are stretched. We need others when we fail. We need God. We learn from failure. The willingness to fail shows a willingness to take risks. Risk requires trust, especially trust in God. In failure we find out who we really are, and so do others. So may you fail miserably.
- May you be blessed to know people smarter than you. You may be feeling really smart right now. People around Jesus, especially highly religious people, thought they were the smartest in the room. They weren’t. He was. It is good to know people smarter than you, people who are relationally, cognitively, and spiritually smart, experientially smart. They can become mentors, people to look up to. It’s good to know Jesus really well. He is the ultimate know-it-all, because He does. Jesus is the premier mentor.
- May you be blessed to have to wait for a long time for something you really want. Hope is born of waiting. In the middle of in-between, we learn patience, long-term prayer, and a shaping by God into His will. If you hate to wait for anything, I hope you have to wait for something really big. Too much too soon is not good for you. My guess is that you don’t like to wait, but you have to. God will make you wait sometimes, and you will be blessed.
- May you be blessed to lose yourself in another. I don’t mean just falling in love. I do mean that, but something else, too. In those rare moments when we forget ourselves because we are totally caught up in gracing another, just then we are at our best. Jesus called it denying ourselves and taking up a cross. It’s what He did. It defined Him. You won’t be conscious of it at the time, but it is life at its best. We were made for it.
- Finally, may you be blessed to see that for every end there is a beginning. This gives way to that. There is a time for this and a time for that. They are never that far apart. So graduation is called a commencement. An end becomes a beginning. Endings are not bad. They are usually not endings at all, but transitions to what happens next… like death for a believer in Jesus Christ. You’ll be blessed to see how great God is at pulling starts out of finishes.
Graduate, consider yourself five times blessed, in unexpected ways!