Graduation. Finishing well a plan that was begun, by law or choice. High school, college, or accelerated degrees are all a matter of our investment choices. What are we seeking to accomplish with what we finish?
I remember years of wanting to be finished with high school so I could do what I wanted. Be an adult and make all my own decisions. I was caught between being responsible for getting the best grades I could and just being done. At times I got by with what was enough, but not often.
College came, and I was making more decisions; happy with most of them, but not all. I went into secondary education, more out of pressure than personal pleasure. I taught high school English for one year and realized it wasn’t the dream.
Two dear friends just graduated with master’s degrees in counseling. It was a grueling course of study for two straight years. They both entered this having to thoroughly consider the consequences of the commitment. Both are moms, yet both felt compelled to pursue what they believed they’d been called to do–stand in the gap with people who were working through life issues, helping give direction and a listening ear.
There were times when both questioned the wisdom of their choices. Children and husbands still had needs. Both of their husbands graciously took up the slack, but family and marriage still require a two-person engagement. Exhaustion was a constant companion. Hours were often long.
I couldn’t have been more proud of them walking at their graduation ceremony if they’d been my own daughters. They successfully completed their studies and will now begin what they’ve dreamed of doing.
I asked another friend what her dreams were. She shrugged her shoulders, and said, “I don’t know if I remember how to dream.”
When our hearts are burdened with worries and anxieties, it’s easy to lose sight of what we hope for. Our hearts are the source of our dreams and desires, and from them comes the courage and determination to pursue what seems impossible. If we cloud our hearts with worry and fears, we lose sight of hope.
I’m not saying we shouldn’t be aware of all that’s happening around us. Social media and 24/7 news make that impossible. We do, however, need to put life in the perspective of what really counts.
King Solomon wisely said,
“Guard your heart above all else, for it is the source of life.” Proverbs 4:23
How does one guard a heart?
We protect our hearts by being aware of what we think about and spend time doing. Dreams can be easily decimated by the worries and fears of today, by what we can’t control. When we no longer can tell the truth from a lie.
Jesus is the ultimate Protector of our hearts; He wants to fill them with hope and honesty.
Choosing to believe Him means counting the cost of what He says. We can’t pick and choose what we want to agree with and what doesn’t sit well with us. Jesus is either who He says He is, the Son of God, or a crazy man, or liar. Consider what that means.
Pursuing the dream took work for my two friends, but they stayed the course.
That is the dream.