Summary: Graduation Speech - As I look at the 8 of you, my prayer is that when you come to the end of your life on this earth, however many years God will mercifully grant to you, my concern is that you will not have wasted your life.

Iredell County Home Educators


Let me begin by saying how very grateful I am for this opportunity to speak to you at your graduation from High School. At the same time it is a daunting assignment because this is a fun, exciting day, a day of celebration therefore the last thing you want is some heavy, weighty, serious & lengthy speech. Out of the thousands of graduation speeches given this year, most of the hearers simply want the speaker to hurry up & get through so they can get to the fun part. Therefore I realize what I am up against.

To you the class of 2006, you are entering a new chapter in your life. You will be making over the next weeks, months & even the next few years decisions that will have great impact on your life. Decisions concerning schooling, jobs, career, even marriage. That is what you are facing in terms of your immediate future. But what I want to do today is jump ahead to the end of your life which may seem like an odd thing to do on this day when the immediate future is what is on your mind. But let me share w/ you what is on my heart as I stand before you today.

As I look at the 8 of you, my prayer is that when you come to the end of your life on this earth, however many years God will mercifully grant to you, my concern is that you will not have wasted your life. I know that is a heavy topic on this day of celebration but there are times we need to think on these important, issues. And 1 reason why it is important is because the majority to the people you will know, go to school w/ & work beside will be people who will waste their lives. In other words, you are going to be surrounded by people who are wasting their lives.

For some of them it will be quite obvious to you that they are wasting their lives, but there will be others that will have the appearance of living a successful life because there are some very convincing counterfeits out there. None of you probably know who Lee Iacocca is. He took over the Chrysler Corporation back in the 1980’s when it was on the verge of bankruptcy & turned it around. He was the one who introduced the minivan to American culture. And he became a household name. Practically everyone knew who Lee Iacocca was. From all appearances he had a successful life, but listen to what he said in his book Straight Talk: “Here I am in the twilight years of my life, still wondering what it’s all about....I can tell you this, fame & fortune is for the birds.” Here is a man our society would hold up as having lived a successful life & yet you just heard his own evaluation of his life. Furthermore, the number of people who have committed suicide after experiencing the fame & fortune of “a successful life” is astonishing.

So my challenge to you, the class of 2006, is - don’t waste your life. Don’t waste your life.

We, as your family & friends, are here today to say, “Well done.” That is good. It is important for you have reached a milestone. But as a person grows older 1 of the things that should happen is they develop a better perspective on what is truly important. And 1 of those extremely important things to know is that there is day coming when each 1 of you will have the opportunity to have the Almighty, Supreme God & Lord of this Universe say personally to you, “Well done!” And all the accolades & honors you may receive in this life combined will not hold a candle to that 1 “well done” from the lips of Christ. When that day comes – that great perspective altering day, you will be willing to trade any & everything to be able to hear those words from His lips.

John Bacon was a famous sculptor. Listen to what he had inscribed on his tomb in Westminster Abbey: “What I was as an artist seemed of some importance to me while I lived; but what I was as a believer in Jesus Christ is the only thing of importance to me now.”

I want you to hear that “well done” from Christ, but you won’t if you’ve wasted your life.

John Piper tells of reading in Reader’s Digest the story of a couple who took early retirement from their jobs. He was 59; she 51. They now live in Florida, where they cruise on their 30ft. trawler, play softball & collect sea shells. He writes, At first, when I read it I thought it might be a joke. A spoof on the American Dream. But it wasn’t. Tragically, this was the dream: Come to the end of your life – your one & only precious, God-given life – and let the last great work of your life, before you give an account to your Creator, be this: playing softball & collecting sea shells. Picture them before Christ at the great day of judgment: “Look, Lord. See my shells.” THAT is a tragedy. And people today are spending billions of dollars to persuade you to embrace that tragic dream… Don’t buy it. Don’t waste your life.

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