Congratulations on making it to this day, a milestone in our lives as we embark towards a bright and exciting future.
None of this would be possible without the undying commitment and effort our parents and loved ones ungrudgingly gave us. Because of you, we learned the value of character. We learned that each new day is a new opportunity to explore God’s world. And yes, we even leaned that we actually will use geometry in real life. Parents, you gave us your all so that we could be here today. It wasn’t easy, and we can barely scratch the surface in understanding all you have done for us. We are truly grateful: thank you.
One of my earliest memories was my first day of homeschool, as I received my bright pink Hello Kitty lunchbox. Now, as I stand here, I am grateful for the opportunities I have been given.
Fellow graduates, as we receive our diplomas, we are reminded of the lessons we have learned throughout our homeschool journey. Through a young man who chopped down his father’s cherry tree, we learned the importance of honesty, even when it isn’t comfortable. In a young nurse’s fight for the men suffering on the battlefield, we saw bravery in the face of difficulty. When we read the story of a man who found a use for a seemingly useless plant, we learned that creative problem-solving and determined grit will win the day. Because of the story of a captive of the Nazi regime, we learned that love is greater than any darkness; and through a young man who gave his life for an unreached tribe, we learned to stand for God, even when the cost is great. These men and women are remembered today for the mark they made on their world. That same opportunity awaits each one of us today.
We stand at the brink of the future. Many of us are excited, and all of us unsure of what the future will bring. But I love how Corrie Ten Boom put it – “Never be afraid to trust and unknown future to a known God.” I know and trust that God has a unique plan for each and every one of us. He has a specific call for our lives – to impact our world.
As we were reminded today, the choices the young men and women of history made impacted their future, as well as our own today. George Washington’s choice for honesty even though he knew it would cost him gave him the courage and strength to lead a new nation to freedom. Clara Barton’s choice to help wounded soldiers even though she was timid changed the medical world, and her bravery inspires us to push outside our comfort zone. George Washington Carver’s search for the value of the peanut shows us to creatively look for solutions to problems, and to never give up. Betsie Ten Boom showed us to love in the face of hatred, and that when we love, God grants us the strength to keep loving. And Jim Elliot shows us that giving our lives fully to God’s service is a decision we will never regret.
Fellow graduates, these choices and actions were not created overnight. These men and women were tested, tried, pushed to the limits, yet they were able to stand because of the decisions they made in their youth. The decisions we make now are vital.
These men and women stand out to us for one main reason: they changed the course of history. They impacted their world. How can we do the same? I would like to offer three main ways:
The first is to have God’s heart for the world. As John 13:35 says, “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” When we show God’s love, when we have His vision, we can change the world. As Amy Carmichael, missionary to India, once wrote, “He said, ‘Love…as I have loved you.’ We cannot love too much.”
Second, be open to God’s call. Katie Davis, missionary to Africa, put it well: “I don't always know where this life is going. I can't see the end of the road, but here is the great part: Courage is not about knowing the path. It is about taking the first step. It is about Peter getting out of the boat, stepping out onto the water with complete faith that Jesus will not let him drown.” Now more than ever, our world needs young men and women to step up to the plate and change their world. You can be that person. Whether God calls us to foreign lands, business ventures, or the beautiful role of mom or dad, we can make a difference wherever we are.
Which leads us to the third way: act. Step out of your comfort zone and change history. You were made for such a time as this.
As we put our lunch boxes and say goodbye to high school and hello to our new future, I am excited to see what the future holds for each one of you. Shine your light well.
I would like to leave you with a quote by Jim Elliot. I pray that his words become your prayer, as well as my own.
“Lord, make my way prosperous not that I achieve high station, but that my life be an exhibit to the value of knowing God.”
Hi! My name is Hannah, and I enjoy playing piano, writing, hanging out with my family, and spending time with my Lord and Savior. Hope you are blessed!