It’s time to stretch, down an extra cup of coffee, warm those hands up and prep those buttocks to sit in an auditorium for two and a half hours to watch and cheer for three people out of 700 to receive a piece of paper from someone who will have to use a gallon of hand sanitizer to cleanse themselves from all the sweaty handshakes they’ll give out as they pose awkwardly for photos at the hands of exuberant parents and sometimes very boisterous grandparents.
All jokes aside I am so proud of the teens over the last nine years since I’ve been a youth pastor that have walked across various stages and received diplomas. They worked hard and achieved something that they should value and remember for the rest of their lives. And celebration is in order.
But the celebration should be based on reality. Not a celebration of Narcissism.
Narcissism is an extreme love of self, and all too often it is the springboard, thesis, conclusion, and mission of this beast we call commencement speeches.
I feel like Charlie Brown after many commencement speeches, “I just can’t stand it.”
Reveling in our own accomplishments (as if we had anything to do with our existence) is vanity of the highest order. And we would do well to congratulate young people on a job well done, all the while grounding their expectations of the future in reality with a large dose of “ It’s not about you.”
Life will bring us many victories and many failures. But whatever future that lies ahead for us, the following applies to: The purpose is to bring Glory to God, and Not to bring glory to ourselves.
Glorifying God is the reason You and I were made. It’s the reason this creation we live in was spoken into being. That is the truth everyday, including graduation day.
Our accomplishments in life matter when they are fulfillments of our purpose to glorify God, those actions echo in eternity after our physical lives have ended. But all too often we seek to accomplish things that bring glory to ourselves, and those will die with us and be forgotten.
Remember, it’s not about you. It never has been. It’s all about a God who handcrafted us and prepared a way for us to be with Him for eternity. Let us all stay grounded in that truth.
“ For everything comes from him and exists by his power and is intended for his glory. All glory to him forever! Amen.” - Romans 11.36
Love you guys,