Attending my granddaughter’s Baccalaureate Service for the Farragut High School Class of 2017, I sat with great excitement and anticipation in hopes of getting a picture of her, as the graduating students marched down the aisles to take their seats. As written in the program, a student had been selected to read Biblical scriptures. As he stepped up to the podium to read and express his thoughts about the application of the scripture, the student shared his personal testimony.
In speaking about a recent trip to Honduras, referring to his travel the student said “if it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you.” The point that he was making to his fellow 446 graduates, was that as they take the next step in their life, to attend college, join the military, or pursue some other career, was that they would be challenged by the things they do and the people they meet, to make life-changing choices. In this, he challenged them to make good choices as that is what would mold their future.
Over the course of history, struggles, conflicts, and choices have been important pieces of what has made our country the way it is today. Vivid pictures in history books and films have detailed necessary change. These high school graduates could soon experience struggles and conflicts themselves and they must also find a way to overcome them.
To this point as parents, grandparents, or anyone tasked with raising a child, we have all discovered the battle ground that has challenged us to make uncomfortable choices: who our children should be friends with, where they should spend their time, or how long they could stay out. We are hopeful that our careful decision making would someday resonate with them in their own decisions.
We cannot promise these high school graduates that life is going to be easy when they are “challenged for change.”
However, we can give them good advice to never give up! Never give up! Never give up!
By Chaplain Ghosten