It’s that time of year. School is coming to a close. Summer is upon us. High school graduations are just around the corner. And I have the immense privilege and pleasure of watching a number of “kids” I know and love move into this next phase in their lives . . . the, not always seamless but most definitely amazing, transition from childhood into adulthood. They may follow different paths. Some are going into the military. Some will have careers. Many will go to college or trade school. But one thing holds true, most are pretty dang awesome, and while I have no great delusions regarding my role in their lives, I am so very proud of them.
I’ve been thinking about what I would say to these kids, just moments away from becoming adults, if given the opportunity. And this is what I’ve come up with.
- This is not the big climax of your life. Sorry, but it’s not. It’s one of the high points, but I hope it’s not the highest. I hope it’s only the beginning. The beginning of big and beautiful and hard things, and no matter what you’re doing tomorrow or next week or next year, you have to take ownership of your future. You have to do your part in making those big and beautiful and hard things happen.
- Speaking of “hard” . . . hard is well, hard, but it’s not always bad. Hard things can be very good things as well.
- And having said all that, work hard, but also work hard for the right reasons. There’s a verse in the bible that basically says, “Whatever you do, do it as unto the Lord . . .” (paraphrased from Colossians 3:23-24), and y’all this is the best advice I can give you. If you do things for others and even for yourself, you’ll always reach a point where you’re burnt out and tired and disappointed. But when you do things for God, not just in theory but in reality, you’ll find strength only He can give.
- Don’t rush the next step. We’re always looking for what’s next. Goals are good. Goals are important, but also, as cliché as it sounds, seize the day . . . embrace the moment . . . live in the here and now. You won’t get it back.
- Speaking of . . . relationships are great, but you are young. Give yourself time to grow and grow up a bit before getting too serious.
- College is not a career. It’s a means to an end, and a transition into adulthood. So have fun but know when it’s time to wrap it up, grow up, and move into the next phase.
- Take risks. Not the kind of risks that will give your mama a heart attack (for the most part anyway), but the kind of risks that change people’s lives. Be a world changer. You can always dream bigger.
- Don’t drink and drive. Ever. It’s really stupid and not worth anyone’s life.
- Live generously. Give. Volunteer. Do something for someone other than yourself.
- Laugh everyday, and be with people who give you life. If someone only takes from you and sucks you dry, it might be time to move on.
- Find a career you love. And yes, “stay at home mom” is absolutely a career, but so is CEO of a large company. It’s up to you, and you may do both, or you may do neither in your lifetime. But don’t let anyone look down on or put down the path you choose.
- However . . . on the way to finding that career you still have to work hard, and you might have to settle for the “job for now” in order to pay the bills. See my third point. There’s no shame in any job as long as you show up and do your best. Just don’t get stuck in the status quo.
- Go to church and build a community, but also seek a personal relationship with Jesus. Trust God. Pray. Seriously, you’ll find that life is much easier and much more meaningful with Jesus than without.
You are amazing, and you are meant to do great things. God didn’t create anyone boring or ordinary. He created unique and extraordinary. And that’s 100% you. Here’s to the graduating class of 2021.
Copyright 2021, Courtney G Davis, All Rights Reserved The writings and images contained within this site are the intellectual property of this writer unless otherwise noted, and may not be copied or used without express permission of the author.
* Some of you that have been around since the days of my old adoption and family blog may think you’ve read this before. You have! This was brought over from my old blog and tweeked a bit for this space. I’ve been sorting through old posts and will do that from time to time.