Graduation is such a special time in the life of young adults. In the present age, it has become arguably the most important rite of passage into adulthood. Eighteen-year-olds across the nation stand on a threshold: thirteen or more years of compulsory schooling is behind them, and the whole world lies ahead. Education, career, marriage, everything is ahead of them, and finally, they get to make their own decisions about where to go and what to do. It is always refreshing to hear what graduates are thinking in their final days of high school. Overwhelmingly, the most popular reflection for the class of 2022 at Trinitas has been about the “close-knit community” they are leaving behind. As an educator, I might hope the most popular theme would be the great education they have earned—books, scientific formulae, mathematical equations, Greek poetry—but that would be losing sight of the most important element of any education, the element of human relationship. Thankfully, the class of 2022 did not overlook this element; in fact, the word they most often used to describe their friends and teachers at Trinitas was “family.”
One is never too old to learn something new or to be reminded of something learned and forgotten. I am reminded that we teachers should stop worrying for a moment about whether or not the graduates learned everything we taught them. Instead, we too should take a moment to reflect on our relationship with these young people. They have considered us family, and if we are honest with ourselves, we can agree that is exactly what we have become after spending so many years together. I can recall teaching these graduates as sixth-graders, how they were beginning to grow into their personalities and test what they knew about the world. My, how they have grown, physically, mentally, and spiritually.
Graduates, as you leave Trinitas behind to make your way in the wide world, I pray that God blesses you richly!
May you always have the courage and maturity to call your father and confess your sin.
May you always be the friend you wish someone would be for you.
May you always be slow to speak and quick to listen, right up until the time your words alone can make a difference.
May you never tell anyone you will pray for him if you do not earnestly intend to.
May you always find your identity in Christ even when people are trying to call you into a different identity.
May you never value the opinions of men more than God.
May you never go a day without praying.
May you never go a day without reading God’s word.
May you never value money more than justice.
May you never esteem material more highly than people.
May you always have the discernment to tell right from wrong.
May you always stand up for what is right, no matter the cost.
May you become the spouse and parent who loves and sacrifices like Jesus.
May you always, always love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, and your neighbor as yourself.
Godspeed, Trinitas Class of 2022! We love you, and we will miss you!