Summary: The most important lesson we can learn in life is how to love like God.

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Today is a big day. Today is the day that the huge class of 2 students from WCS will be graduating. It is exciting for them and their parents that they will finally get to taste a small portion of freedom. Next week will be a big week for our own Alan Townsend and 4 or 5 others from Route One youth that will finally finish their first major step in life. They will hopefully, depending on finals testing, be able to walk across the stage, and know that they are finally done.

All of the studying or cramming, the late night book reports, the last minute projects, are over. There are no more equations to solve, no more verbs to circle, no more nouns to underline. There is no longer a reason to know the atomic number of an element on the periodic table. And now when someone ask you, “If one train is leaving NY at noon and the other is leaving LA at 3 what time will they meet?” You can look at them and know that the right answer is WHO CARES!! This is an awesome time.

But what I want to say to you today is that no matter where you go in life the learning never stops. The education you received in school is critical and extremely important to achieve success in life, but the education we gain in the real world is absolutely priceless. And there is no book to teach you how to succeed. Besides one and that’s God’s word. But we’ll get to that in a minute.

Many years ago Robert Fulghum wrote “All I Really Need to Know I learned in Kindergarten.” It was his way of sharing all that we would need to live by in order to be happy and succeed in life. He says,

• Share everything.

• Play fair.

• Don’t hit people.

• Put things back where you found them.

• Clean up your own mess.

• Don’t take things that aren’t yours.

• Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody.

• Wash your hands before you eat.

• Flush. (I’ll say that again for all the wives.)

• Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.

• Live a balanced life--learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.

• Take a nap every afternoon.

• When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands, and stick together.

• Be aware of wonder. Remember the little seed in the Styrofoam cup: The roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that.

• Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even the little seed in the Styrofoam cup--they all die. So do we.

• And then remember the Dick-and-Jane books and the first word you learned--the biggest word of all--LOOK.

Today I want to teach all of you the most important lesson you need to know. Robert Fulghum give some great advice, but if you come to me and ask me, “Pastor Ryan, what do I need to be the most successful person possible in life?” I am going to look at you and say, “all you need is love.”

No I’m not talking about the Beatles song. And I am not talking about a love that we have for that fling, or high school boyfriend or girlfriend. The love I am talking about is the love that we can only get from God. An unconditional love. Learn God’s love, what it means, what it is, how it can be used in our lives and you will be successful in everything you do.

I can’t stand up here today and honestly say that I understand love. This is by far the most complicated word that there is. When we are growing up we think we understand what love is. I remember my first girlfriend. Her name was Chelsea West. We met on a beautiful day much like today. I had just sat down in my new desk in Mrs. Simpson’s first grade class at Hoover Elementary. Chelsea walked in with her brand new Malibu Barbie lunch pale and I was in love. I know what you were thinking. FIRST GRADE! I know its weird but some of us develop quicker than others. She was my first love. But I wasn’t ready for a commitment so our relationship didn’t last long. In reality she made me choose. It was GI Joe or her and I said see ya.

Seriously though we grow up thinking we are in love. I am sure at what time or another most of us were in some sort of relationship were we thought we really loved the person we were dating only to eventually come to a point where we learned that we really didn’t love them.

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