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Graduation Season Posted 5.30.2014

It’s graduation season.  For those in college, however, it’s been “the season” for a while already.  But this week our local high schools will graduate a fresh crop of young people.  I’m sure they are filled with high expectations and they walk with a sense of adventure.  This week marks a significant time of transition in their lives as they take more responsibility for their own lives and decisions. 

 

Let me be honest, from the parental chair it is a tough transition.  It’s emotional and full of questions.  Have we done enough?  Can we let go?  Will they be OK? Letting go is a difficult path to navigate.  The end of daily input is drawing to a close.

 

So to moms and dads I say to enjoy Thursday’s graduation.  Life now changes.  The summer ahead is fraught with tension (they want their freedom yesterday).  But stay the course.  Parent them.  Love them.  Be patient with these young adults in whom you have invested everything.

 

And to students I say, humor us old folks.  We really do love you and we really do want only what is best for you.  It won’t seem like it, and we will struggle with control issues, but you’ve been at the center of our world for a really long time and letting loose on the reins is not automatic. We want what’s best for you.  And as we try to let go, a genuine hug wouldn’t hurt now and then.  It is a lot to ask, but we want it anyway.

 

As I contemplate this season, I wonder what things looked like from heaven a couple of thousand years ago when God sent his Son away.  The view from Bethlehem wasn’t (and isn’t) all that attractive, let’s face it.  But when God sent His Son to earth – what was heaven’s response?  The incarnation had been planned since before the world was created, but when it happened what was the angelic response?  The horror of rebellion mixed with the complexity of God’s love produced incarnation.  And the response?  Many angels probably asked the same question we ask, “How can it be?”  And the carefully crafted story of redemption began with a Father bidding a Son a painful farewell.

 

With the backdrop of God’s love, Jesus came to the planet on a journey to bring us back to be with God forever.  But we are all rebellious teens at heart and sometimes kick and scream, wanting our own way, and questioning the very love of God that sent Jesus to earth.  But God with infinite patience (sprinkled in with some loving discipline here and there) guides us home.  He tempers our independent spirit with grace.

 

And so moms and dads, we must do the same.  Talk a lot with these grads this summer, if they are ever around.  Love them.  Lead them.  And grads, would it really kill you to say thanks with a hug now and then to those who love you more than anyone else on the planet?  No.  It wouldn’t.

 


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