Graduation celebration weekend has finally come at our house. I suppose most of the country is done with it but we, being homeschoolers, delayed a few weeks to arrange it around family schedules…Tonight’s the family dinner, the giving of the diploma and the grad gifts. Sunday’s the reception with friends. It’s an eagerly anticipated set of days for us all, especially the graduate.
How appropriate then to stand at the beach last night while a visiting student orchestra played Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance. Triumphant and nostalgic at the same time, it made my eyes tear and my spine straighten to stand proudly remembering all the years, now with this last graduate at my side, for whom this weekend will mark the end and the beginning.
I remember when I was young thinking it strange to here Graduation time called “Commencement”. Weren’t we in fact finishing something. This is what the ceremony is acknowledging right? I couldn’t see then that of more importance was what still lay ahead, and this cap and gown moment was only a blip in relation to the future.
Life is like that. All of life on this side of heaven is but a blip. C.S. Lewis puts it in these words that I have treasured ever since I first read them to my kids as we concluded the Narnia series. It is an unusual ending. The main characters all die. But this is only the beginning, the commencement really.
“The term is over: the holidays have begun. The dream is ended: this is the morning…the things that began to happen after that were so great and beautiful that I cannot write them. And for us this is the end of all the stories, and we can most truly say that they all lived happily ever after. But for them it was only the beginning of the real story. All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page; now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story, which no one on earth has read; which goes on forever; in which every chapter is better than the one before. “ –The Last Battle, p.173
So I’m sitting here this morning drawing on a bigger perspective before I throw myself into the minutia of preparations. We are made for greater things. All this, is but a preparation, a practice, a drill at pouring out our energies for His glory, which will be our occupation for all eternity. It’s not the ‘stuff’ of earth that matters but how we handle it, how we value it, and for whom. Each day matters because He’s made it. May He be glorified in how we use it too, as we keep our eyes on Jesus and our hearts set on eternity!
These are the verses I’m pondering today:
I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed…
but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies.
For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have?
But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.
And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son.”
And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb…
And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him. They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads. There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever.
Then he said to me, “These words are faithful and true.”
“Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay each one for what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”
Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates.
Do not love the world or the things in the world….
For all that is in the world–the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life–is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.
He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.”
Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!
The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen!