My nephew graduated Salutatorian at Episcopal High School on Friday. At the graduation I kept thinking of the massive amount of potential in this group of young people and found myself considering which of these kids was motivated for the future. My thoughts then shifted to the parents in the audience and I began to wonder if the parents believe that the only contribution or impact they have left to make will be through their children. Don’t get me wrong, that is a blessing, but we are all far from finished. We get frustrated because we don’t know if our children realize the opportunities that await them if they focus, use their gifts, and remain consistent. Actually, the same answer is true for adults – but I think we don’t see it anymore as an option for ourselves. We have partially given up on ourselves.
Since we have the benefit of hindsight, and we can learn from history, I think we need to reassess our vision for our own life. What do I want to accomplish for the rest of my life? What can I do to make an impact in God’s kingdom? Am I giving up before I start? What if God wants to do something great through me and I chicken out before He really has an opportunity?
I think, at some point, we have all looked at the world with an eye towards conquering it. Nothing has changed. Well, actually, something has – we are older, wiser, more discerning, more compassionate, more empathetic, and a host of other positive changes. The only negative that has crept in, and seems to be more powerful than wisdom, discernment, and love, is FEAR.
I was thinking this morning about all of the entrepreneurs who want to change their business, move it to the next level, or move a vision forward. If this is you then I want to encourage you. I know you are not completely clear about which direction to take. You may wonder if your vision is God’s plan for your future. You may already be worrying about the implications if you fail. I am right there with you! I have many ideas and I want to make an impact for God’s Kingdom, but sometimes I hesitate because I am not sure if my plans will succeed. I am not positive it is really what God wants me to do. And, of course, I am worried about the consequences of failure – to my pride, to my pocketbook. But sitting in church today I was convicted to move forward, not because God is ensuring I will succeed or because the sermon had a message meant for me, but because of the thought that God created us to glorify Him. How can I glorify Him if I don’t even try? How can I truly have faith if I am playing it safe? What if God is just waiting to work through me and He can’t because I don’t show up!
God doesn’t just work through graduating high school students. He works through the young and the old; the strong and the weak; the fortunate and the less fortunate. I think the only consistent trait is that they were all available to God. I do know one thing for sure. If we do not step out and put a consistent effort toward our vision and our dreams, they surely will not be achieved. God cannot be glorified through unfulfilled dreams, and it is just quite possible that we will create a self-fulfilling prophecy that our only contribution left for us in this world is through our children. My challenge to us all is to join our children in stepping out into our future and fulfilling the plans that God has for us!