May is the month of graduations down South. We celebrate every graduation from college to high school to elementary school and even kindergarten. I personally think some of these are a bit unnecessary (You know your ABC’s! Congratulations! Off you go to the 1st grade!) but they happen nonetheless.
The two biggies to me are high school and college graduations. Graduating from high school can be an expected result or it can be a huge accomplishment depending on a student’s home life and socioeconomic background. Some will go on to college, some straight into the workforce (assuming they can find a dang job these days) or maybe into the military. No matter which path a high school graduate takes one thing is for sure – they have to take the next step.
And for those who go to college and spend 4 years (or more if they can make that happen) learning, studying, traveling, experiencing – they too, will have a next step upon graduation. (And all of us mommas out there are praying it’s called a JOB.)
Graduations are important. Graduations are to be celebrated. Graduations are the culmination of many hours of work, lots of prayer and some mistakes along the way.
But just because you graduate doesn’t mean you’ve arrived. It doesn’t mean you can sit on your momma’s sofa for the rest of your life as a graduate. (At least not in my house.) Graduates have to take the next step. They’re gonna have to get out in the world and yes, learn more than they’ve already learned. They’re gonna have to learn how to interview for a job. How to work hard at that job. How to get along with people at work they would rather strangle at times. How to accept disappointment when someone else gets promoted over them. How to be humble when they receive an award. How to be married, have a family and support them financially. How to be a light in the world around them.
So much to learn. Just when they think they’ve arrived because of a piece of parchment they hold in their hands with a lot of Latin and a few capital letters printed on it…
And that’s how it is with our walk with Jesus. We can never think, “At last! I’ve graduated! I’ve arrived! There’s nothing else for me to learn here – I got this.” That attitude is dangerous territory. We can all keep learning, keep taking one step closer to Jesus no matter how old we are or where we are in life.
And that’s really what we should focus on – taking one step closer to Jesus. We don’t have to take huge leaps in our spiritual walk, although sometimes that does happen. But if we don’t take time to slow down and walk slowly with Him, step by step, we will miss the lessons and the blessings along the way.
“Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude.” (Colossians 2:6-7)
We all take steps every day toward something. A job, a relationship, a retirement. As we take our next step, let us walk with Jesus so that we can grow in our faith every day, every step of the way.