Graduation asks the question, “Well, where to next?” You grab a program as you walk in, taking in all the emotion of hugs, tears, family, friends and pictures. As you sit down in the auditorium chair, you take out the program that was printed off just the day before. It says the exact schedule of what will encompass the next hour. You’ve seen it before.
“Welcome by principal and the board of education, senior speech, presentation of certificates, dismissal.”
Just a few months ago, it was prom.
Just a few weeks ago, the seniors’ caps and gowns arrived.
Just a few days ago, students took their last final of the year.
Just yesterday, teachers set up the stage to look as it did now.
Just a few hours ago, aunts and uncles flew in from afar.
And now, the ceremony is about to begin. Everything set up in the exact order that it is every year.
“Taylor will be attending Fort Hays State University in the fall and major in Education.”
“Alexis will be attending dental school.”
“Sam will be traveling to Australia to do biomedical research.”
“Thank you and best wishes to the class of 2015 in your futures. Do great things, strive for excellence and you will succeed.”
It’s a bittersweet and joyous time of celebration as memories are shared and goodbyes are said. Aunts and uncles return home. Graduates open card after card. Everyone will go to bed that night, wake up, and the weekend that’d been planned and talked about for months, is over. Moms and dads return to their jobs, school is back in session for the undergrads, and that question, “Well, where to next?” is set before the graduates once again.
Yet sometimes I wonder: what would happen if you walked into that auditorium, and programs weren’t provided. I wonder what would happen if the principal didn’t show up. I wonder what would happen if Sam became ill and couldn’t study in Australia in the fall. I wonder what would happen if on the way to the airport, a family member wrecked. What if that dad returns to work on Monday, but only to get laid off. What if that college you’ve been dreaming to go to, turns you down.
Nothing is more frustrating than the above scenarios. In this culture, we strive on schedule. We can’t live without a program to a graduation, a destination for our lives or even a wait at a restaurant. We plan our lives out and when something goes wrong in that blueprint, our patience is tested.
I’m a goal maker. I love to sit down and set goals for my day, week and even life. But more often than not, I make a goal and it doesn’t happen. It was so tangible at the time, but something goes wrong. Instead of calmly accepting it, I tend to worry. I think of everything I could have done differently and question God’s plan for my life.
When things get out of order and don’t go exactly like you planned, what is your first reaction? Do you freak out and complain to anyone who will listen? Do you respond in anger? Do you blame God for things not going the way you anticipated?
This is our problem. This is my problem. Rather than trusting God’s plan, we blame Him. Maybe instead, you and me should ask God for direction, understanding and patience in change. It’s our human nature to worry and be impatient with progress, yet God tells us not to fear.
“Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
He knows exactly the plans for us that we wonder too often about.
“For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11
So, instead of being impatient about the plan, order and structure of your life, be patient. God knows what He’s doing.