Charge to the Graduates

You will need to envision a world much better than the one you currently inhabit. You will need imagination to invent tools for problems we are yet to discover in venture we have yet explore.  

Recently I gave a graduation address that reminded me that as parents of young adults we have to challenge our young adults to GROW UP and follow their calling. Maybe you need a reminder as well. 
Given May 4, 2018 at the PACES PAideia Graduation:
Our youngest son, Teddy, graduated from Liberty University in Business Administration in 2015.


Tonight you are symbolically crossing the threshold into your own life. And while this is only a fantasy to some —  it will be the night that you remember as the night you crossed from a child to an adult. Becoming an adult isn’t a modern concept.
Many millennial‘s would deny the necessity for the rite of passage into adulthood and scores of teens would urge you to become Peter Pan and refuse to grow up.
Some adults will tell you that you can continue to be a child as long as you can dream and imagine. The good news is this is TRUE! Young adulthood for you as a classically trained Christian adult will demand dreaming and imagination.
You will need to envision a world much better than the one you currently inhabit. You will need imagination to invent tools for problems we are yet to discover in ventures we have yet to explore.
You will need imaginations and dreams, but you will also need hope, virtue, and courage.
You must move out into the world with the hope that you are going out with a cause and purpose. That cause is to make your world a better place. How you do that, is as varied as your gifts and abilities.
But that you must do it, is non-negotiable.
You all have a calling on your life. And although the calling may take different mediums, we know that the calling was issued in Matthew 28:19 and 20. These verses  tell us that your  calling is to go.  You already figured that out. You have been looking forward to going since you were 13, if you are like most young adults.
And as you go, you are to make disciples, and you are going out into a world that may not only be antagonistic toward Christianity, but at times violently so. Remember when Jesus Christ gave the first disciples the Great Commission, he did so to followers who were going out into a world power that not only sought to shut off the ideology of Christianity, but to slay its bearers.
There may be days you feel like you were living in that same society. However, your calling to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ and to make disciples does not change.
As you go out with the hope that you will be changing the world for the good through the power of the Holy Spirit and with the gospel of Jesus Christ— you must also go out with virtue.
Obviously, as PACES graduates, you will be able to write epic essays and give brilliant oratory. Not to be overlooked,  you must first win your audience through your virtue. Remember, Quintillian reminds us that an orator is a good man (or woman) speaking well.  Regardless of what you have heard and seen about college students, you are called to be salt and light wherever the uttermost part of the world is for you.
This doesn’t mean that you will have no fun. On the contrary, through your virtue you will have enjoyable life-changing experiences that you will revel in telling your children and grandchildren about with unashamed faces. As many of us can testify, your college years can be the most impactful and dynamic of your Christian life. And these events and relationships can certainly set the stage for virtuous friendships and life-changing decisions to be made. Be ever watchful for those opportunities.
And finally, you must have courage. College campuses can be havens of academic and spiritual growth. They can also be Satan’s tempting ground to try your character. Remember that this is the furnace where your character is forged.
When faced with temptation, remember that this is your testing ground. Face this new environment of temptation the way you have faced all other temptations thus far in your life: remembering that the outcome of your testing is a strong and godly character.
Your support at college is as important as it was in your high school years–and now you are ready for the real lessons your family can teach you.
As I said at the beginning, you are crossing the threshold into adulthood. Although you have received a measure of success in your journey thus far, never hesitate to call on those of us from your past who encouraged you on this journey. A threshold doesn’t have to mean a closed door behind you. You may not feel ready, and honestly we may have some thoughts about that as well, but we all know that you are ready and you will cross the threshold and take the next step knowing that you can look forward with hope, virtue, and courage.
Additionally,  we know that you can look over your shoulder as we cheer you on with loving affection and belief in you. May the Lord continue to bless you as He has in the past with good friends, good parents, good teachers, and a mind given to you by the Creator of all things for his divine purpose to be fulfilled in your life.
 May God bless you tonight and always.

Author: Dr. Johnnie K. Seago

Johnnie Seago is a national conference speaker who is passionate about building leadership in families. As the mother to eight adult children, she desires families to learn to connect and communicate to build a community of support. She extends her leadership and team building experience to schools, businesses, and civic groups. Johnnie’s messages equip leaders to: Find their strength in the design God used to create them Find their purpose for which God created them Partner with others for support in reaching goals Commit to the dreams God has placed on their heart Become accountable for their success as leaders Johnnie’s ministry to families includes: Helping families transition from childhood to adulthood Teaching parents to communicate with their adult children Working through difficult situations as teens become adults Providing resources and ideas for productive grand-parenting Johnnie and her husband, Ted has been married for 40 years. They live in the suburbs of Houston, Texas on a lake where they enjoy boating and water sports and the occasional day of floating and reading.

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