Graduation, we all know what it means. It is a somewhat lengthy word and would give a nice score in scrabble, but it’s not one of those words only used in books. It is common. We get it, but if you look at the dictionary definition it seems a bit off. It does not have a sense of motion in it. I don’t know about you, but I cannot think about graduation without thinking, “What’s next?” Graduation is not about finishing. It is about continuing. Although the element of completion is in there, the excitement of opportunity earned through the completion is much greater. None of us want to hear a graduation speech like this, “I sure am glad that’s over. Now I can sit around the house and do nothing for the rest of my life.” Would you applaud that? No, we want to hear about future plans, visions, goals, and the bigger the better. Come on graduates, let us hear it!!
This is graduation season, the end of the school year. Young men and women are graduating from high school and college. They are on the border of a change that will affect the rest of their lives. Many of them have anticipated and prepared for the months and years in front of them and can envision what they will bring. Many have not. Some graduates will leave high school or college and blossom into adults. They become new men and women scarcely resembling the students of their past. The caterpillars will become butterflies. Meanwhile, others only experience change in appearance. They may add a little weight, lose a little hair, move out of mom and dad’s house, but no real change takes place. They are still in their cocoons.
The Bible tells us that when we are born again we become new, new creations. It says our old passes away and we are made new, reborn. How is that for a graduation? Being born again, having Jesus change your life, is more like a “do-over” than a graduation. We do not build on the old. We do not progress our old ways. We start over with a new mind, a new heart, a new direction. Where we resemble high school and college graduates is in the, “What’s next?” Just like a student doesn’t graduate so he or she can quit, when we are born again we are expected to keep moving. Years after being born again, a child of God should look nothing like the former creation. We should all examine our current appearance and ask ourselves, “Am I looking at a caterpillar or a butterfly?”