Find your future in faith in God's plan
June 08, 2011 - This is your time. Your future lies before you. It is time to pursue your passion and follow your ideals.
These are the kind of statements given to graduates each year. These comments sound like the cheer leading we think 17 and 18 year olds need as they set off into adulthood.
There is nothing wrong with encouraging youth. I just wonder how many young adults have clearly defined passions or ideals.
My personal experience is that my deepest held passions and ideals were not clear at high school graduation.
Most of what I hold dear today came out of the context of living my life.
I did not wait for clarity and focus before I launched (or was thrust) into my future.
Clarity and focus were gifts given to me as I kept my heart and mind open and my life unfolded.
As I worked and went to school, I gained greater understanding of myself and others. My faith grew as I faced trouble and challenges in my path.
My understanding of grace and real joy grew as God's blessing became a shared companion on the journey.
Whether we are graduates or retirees, newly married or divorced, gainfully employed or yearning for work, we have decisions as to what is next in life.
We are wise to seek counsel and look within ourselves to find clues to discover our next chapter of life.
We will also discover clarity and direction in our life when we get busy living.
Jesus went to the sea side and gave to his disciples a new future. He did not tell them to follow their passion or attempt to fulfill their potential. He called them to follow in faith.
He taught them to use their greatest gifts to meet others at their greatest place of need.
He said the best way to find their life joy would be in surrendering their lives to a purpose larger than they could understand in the moment.
The greatest promise he made was that they would never be alone. He would go with them. He would never leave them or us.
Not even death could change that. So go.
Go into tomorrow and take this with you. You are a loved child of God. You are blessed with gifts and abilities beyond your understanding.
When you surrender your life to God you can literally transform the lives of others.
That is true for our graduates. It is true for us all.
The Rev. Rick Dake is pastor of Clarkston United Methodist Church.