Graduation time is upon us once again. Winter is past and signals an end to many things: the cold, the darkness, and for students, the end of another school year.
For our seniors, it is an exciting time. All the years of learning and hard work are finally paying off! Their dependence upon parents and educators will soon be in the past.
As parents, we too are excited for our children. With the excitement also comes some apprehension as we learn to “let go” of the control we have had over our sons and daughters. The “what if” syndrome sets in. What if they don’t study and they fail at school? What if they make poor choices about using alcohol and drugs? The list goes on and on. It is at this time that we must place our trust in God. If we as parents have done our best to teach our children about God’s love, we should remind ourselves of this and take great comfort in having done so. Although our children will be out of our sight, they will never be out of God’s sight.
We know there will be many ups and downs in our children’s lives. We cannot prevent them from experiencing pain and suffering. We can, however, remind them that no matter what happens, they are never truly alone. God is always with them. They can always turn to him and he will help them heal and move forward. We can also remind them that when they make mistakes and commit sins there is nothing so terrible in God’s eyes that would cause him to deny his love and forgiveness.
In today’s Gospel of John, we are reminded that God dwells inside each of us. When we accomplish something positive in this world, it is not our own accomplishment, but rather God’s wondrous work shining through our lives. We are the vessels. We are God’s hands and feet.
Many of us will attend a graduation party in the near future. This is always a special time to come together with family and friends to celebrate the graduate’s accomplishments. Displays may show the awards and honors students hold dear to them. This is also a time to be grateful to our God who dwells inside each of us and only through his works were we allowed to achieve this success. We should be humble and thankful for all that God has done for us and instill this thankfulness in our children.
It is also important to note that many virtues the world has always needed (charity, patience, and kindness) are rarely rewarded with medals or space in the newspaper, but are the most important “trophies” of all. Our efforts to help our children recognize this truth will assure a safe journey wherever our children’s lives may take them.
- Scott & Diane Danner