Summary: Preached this at the Baccalaureate service
Graduation is an exciting time. It’s a time that you have looked forward to for years. How many times have you said, “I can’t wait until I graduate because then I will be able to do…” Guess what? That time is now and it’s here. It’s taken you 18 years to get here which means:
• You have been in school now for 2,160 days.
• You have spent 12,960 hours in classes.
• That translates into 777,600 minutes.
• You’ve been around 216 months.
• You have been breathing 936 weeks.
• You’ve been here 157,248 hours.
• You’ve been taking up space 9,434,880 minutes.
• You’ve slept 52,500 hours.
• You’ve watched T.V. 12,173 hours.
• You’ve spent 7,488 hours eating. (Mostly pizza!)
• If you live the average life span of 70 years, or as the
Bible says 3 score and 10, you’ll...
• SLEEP ............24 YEARS
• WORK ............14 YEARS
• PLAY ............ 8 YEARS
• EAT ............ 6 YEARS
• DRIVE .............5 YEARS
• TALK .............4 YEARS
• GO TO SCHOOL.. ....3 YEARS
• SICK .............3 YEARS
• STUDY & READ.......3 YEARS
• MOST OF YOU WERE BORN in the early 90’s YOU WERE WRINKLED, RED, BALD, TOOTHLESS, COULDN’T HARDLY SEE, CRYING, COMPLAINING, AND HAD NO CLOTHES ON.
Well student’s, you’ve come a long way, you’ve reached a milestone. You’ve made it through thirteen years of school, which has involved facing some very real challenges. And, as we can all testify, making it through life will include continuous encounters with challenges that we must meet. But the wonderful thing about confronting these numerous challenges is that you can face them with some victories already under your belt.
Just think, graduates, of the encounters you have already experienced with success. You graduated from the womb and successfully adjusted to life on the outside. You graduated from infancy and successfully began that first day of kindergarten. You graduated from preadolescence and successfully navigated those teen years. Now you are graduating from high school and you must travel the road of adulthood. In other words, this is not the end…it’s really just the beginning! You’ve come to the end of a chapter in your book called life, but by the end of this week, when you a graduate, a new chapter begins and what you’ll learn as you begin to enter into this big world is that you have the same dream that everyone else has which is to make it in this world. To be successful!
However, some people will go to great lengths to reach success. Athletes will take steroids or cork a bat to be the best. People will try and gain insider trading news to make an extra buck. People will try and lie on their resume to get a better job. And the whole reason people do this is because they are hoping to make it in this world. They are hoping to be a success. However, what I have learned in my 36 years is that this stuff will not help you and I make it in this world. So that leaves us asking “How do we make it in this world? Well, I believe that the Bible gives us the answer to that question. I believe the Bible gives us some guidelines that will enable us to make it in this world.
I. FACE YOUR FEARS. (2 TIMOTHY 1:7)
We are all afraid from time to time. Some people are afraid of storms, some are afraid of birds or animals; some have this fear of not being accepted or liked or failing. We all have fears and it is not wrong to have fears. What is wrong is when we let those fears begin to control us. It becomes wrong when we become consumed by fear. When we begin to live in a constant state of fear or when we don’t do stuff because of fear.
There was a test conducted by a university where 10 students were placed in a room. Three lines of varying length were drawn on a card. The students were told to raise their hands when the instructor pointed to the longest line. But 9 of the students had been instructed beforehand to raise their hands when the instructor pointed to the second longest line. One student was the stooge. The usual reaction of the stooge was to put his hand up, look around, and realizing he was all alone, pull it back down. This happened 75% of the time, with students from grade school through high school. This 1 person would go along with what everyone else would say. Why? Out of fear. Fear of being wrong. Fear of not being accepted
So, how do we overcome this fear? Read 2 Timothy 1:7. The Bible is full of “fear-nots.” But I like this verse because Paul was writing to a young man who was perhaps a little bit older than you graduates. At this time Timothy was a young pastor at the church of Ephesus, and the Apostle Paul was his mentor. Paul had already encouraged Timothy in 1 Timothy 4:12 to not let others intimidate him or look down on him because he was young. Now what we know about Timothy is that he was afraid of being inadequate as a young pastor. He lacked self-confidence. In this verse written to Timothy, Paul reminds Timothy that any fear in his life did not come from God. “For God did not give us a spirit of fear but of power and love and self-control.”