Milestones are very important to mankind. In fact they are so important that we commemorate each one with some form of celebration (gathering others around us), often with some specific wardrobe choice (think: cap & gown, or wedding dress), and then we go on to acknowledge the anniversary of the event from year to year. Studies have also shown a marked increase in the numbers of deaths on birthdays and holidays, when the elderly and the dying will themselves to make it to one more special milestone, and then pass away once they’ve done just that. This spring I too have been reflecting a lot on these major milestones; not only will my firstborn son be graduating next week, (proud Mom here :-)) but my ministry partner and I have also been asked to perform at a Baccalaureate. A daunting task– now nearly 30 years past my own high school commencement, what nuggets of wisdom do we hold that would be relevant to share with this new generation as they’ve reached this milestone? These young men and women have grown up in a completely different world than the one we knew!
As I’ve been seeking God on this question for months (I have my own graduating senior, remember!) He has guided me into narrowing down a list of key principles that have transformed my own journey and surrounded me with His peace. In the last few weeks He has also made another concept really clear… our focus really should be not on the milestones achieved, but on celebrating all the learning, all of the building blocks & baby steps that happen in the day-to-day between major life events.
The truth is, we human beings need these markers of time to help identify and organize where we were at different times in our lives– With the exception of a date associated with a major news event, (war, tsunami, terrorist attack, or sudden tragic death of a celebrity) do we remember what we were doing, or more importantly, what we were thinking on any given day, or even in a given year from our past? Yet every one of us will be able to share some personal anecdote that occurred around the time of a family wedding, the birth of a child, and yes, a graduation ceremony. Although I believe God certainly enjoys the milestones of His cherished sons and daughters, I have to think that existing outside of time, He’s remembering other things, moments we might think of as the “small stuff”, but that are actually HUGE in the grand scheme. I want to pay attention to those things, the moments that God celebrates— when one of His children trusts in His provision, or cries out for His presence, or believes in His protection… or when one of us simply gains a new understanding of who He is & how much we’re loved!