Our granddaughter-in-law graduated from college last month. Graduations are not new to the Paris family. I have walked the graduation line several times myself. Add those of our children and grandchildren, and you will understand this is not a new experience for me. Still, it was a happy, heartwarming occasion.
My personal experience with graduations made it rich for me. I was something like a retired athlete who enjoys the game more because he/she has been there and done that. This granddaughter-in-law and her husband’s plans for the future are encouraging. Late this summer they will depart for Colorado and seminary. It’s a faith journey filled with happiness and likely some tears.
The Bible is filled with stories like this. Early in biblical history we are told of God’s call to Abraham: “I would like for you to serve me in another land. If you will leave this place and journey to a land I will show you, I will bless you and your family and the people you serve.” Hebrews puts it this way: “By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive afterward as an inheritance. And he went out not knowing where he was going (Hebrews 11:8ff).
God seldom gives us a roadmap for the future. Instead, God instructs us to put our hand in his hand and walk into the “newness.” Countless millions have done so and received blessings they never dreamed possible. Moses may have feared God was sending him to his death when God called him to go back to Egypt. After all, Moses was a wanted man in Egypt. Instead, God and Moses walked together in Egypt; eventually, God and Moses and the entire Hebrew nation of slaves walked out of Egypt.
In 1954 I stood in line with a couple of hundred young people to matriculate in college. We talked of our dreams. Nearly every enrollee believed he or she would one day receive a doctor’s degree in some field and go on to great things. Most of our dreams were just wishful thinking, but those who followed God’s leading were doubtlessly blessed in ways we never could have imagined.
Hundreds, yea thousands, of years before we stood in that college and dreamed, an experienced follower wrote, “The Lord is my Shepherd… He leads me…” (Psalm 23). Dear God, may it be so.
Wade Paris writes a weekly syndicated column, “The Shepherd Calls.”