I have come to the conclusion that no one should be allowed to give a commencement address who has not already sat through at least 50 of them. It is not that hard to go to 50 graduations in just a few years. If I can do it, so can they. My first graduation was from kindergarten. I went to the kindergarten that was in our church, and so did many of the children who went to my elementary school. We did not have caps and gowns but we were all dressed up. My pastor gave the commencement address. I do not know why.
After kindergarten I graduated five more times: from high school, college, two seminaries and the basic Clinical Pastoral Education program at Tulsa’s Hillcrest Medical Center. Whenever I was tempted to enroll for another degree, I let the mood pass. For high school we gathered at a large convention-type hall and sat by homeroom classes to receive our diplomas. My home room was number 41, out of 43. Baby boomer graduations took nearly forever. At college we graduated out on the football field with our families in the stands. The seminaries’ graduations were held in chapels.
My all-time favorite graduation, though, was not for me. It was for our eldest daughter when she graduated from high school. In those days I was serving on the board of education for Tulsa’s Union Public Schools. I was privileged to personally present our daughter with her diploma. I have the picture of her receiving it and giving me a kiss.
I believe, however, the most important degree any person can receive is named in 2 Timothy 2:15 (KJV). I call it the AUG degree. All of us are admonished to “do your best.” What higher degree can there possibly be? Oh to be presented by our Maker on our final commencement day and to hear the loving words “Approved unto God.”
Keep healthy. Pray mightily. Enjoy your life today. Do your best. And let’s experience the love and power of God together.