Today, during our morning worship service, I shared this charge to the high school graduating class of 2015. But, as I thought about the words, I realized that if we are living (and by this, I don’t mean alive), we should be graduating from one phase of life to another. So, these words are for you and for me too.
Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”
You are high school graduates; it is a moment you have been waiting for and yet, you will wait for so many others. Caps and gowns, “Pomp and Circumstance,” commencement speeches, applications and acceptance letters, interviews and job offers, enrollment and enlistment, let this be the end of the expected.
I charge you to leave the map of history and to follow the voice of destiny, to leave the tour guides of the past in search of the future. Look for the unseen and listen for the unheard. Don’t wait for approval or agreement. Go!
Don’t stand back or in the shadows but walk in God’s light. Don’t follow in the footsteps of others but leave your own mark. Make an impression and allow others to feel the presence and pressure of you.
Don’t hold yourself back. Hands off. Go!
I charge you to clear the brush of fear, to make a way where there has not been one and to level the uneven places. Build bridges and people. Don’t wait for acceptance or consensus. Step out on faith. Go!
I charge you to do the unexpected. Don’t check any more boxes and don’t be measured to fit into one. They don’t fit all.
Color outside of the lines; there are no boundaries to your humanity, no single way to be you. Broaden the definition of our being and our being together. Don’t look back to compare notes or yourself to others. Go!
I charge you to leave the comfort of your assumptions, the dependability of your experiences and the confidence of your surroundings.
Don’t crown this achievement; it should not reign forever. But, I charge you to graduate again and again. Allow your life to be a series of commencements.
Don’t be found with the number or fill out an application to join the crowd. Walk ahead. Accept yourself and go!