40 Years

40 years…

As I am writing the commencement address for a High School Graduation, I have been reflecting a lot back to May, 1978.  That small private school in Talladega, Alabama where a class of 20+ graduated. 

I was in that class. Yes, 40 YEARS ago.

There were some things about that class which I think relate to all graduating classes. 

We all thought we were INVINCIBLE! We will conquer the world! We will make a difference in this world!  At least that is what Bobby Sands (the commencement speaker at my graduation said.) Ironically, I live in the same town as him today. 

How many of you remember your commencement speaker?

Did we make a DIFFERENCE?  I hope so.  I hope we made a difference in the education we received, the jobs we have worked, the families we have raised.

Most important… I hope we made a difference in this world by the God we serve!

My mind goes back to a classmate we lost, Debbie was her name. Sweet, pretty and kind. (We were Harvest King and Queen in the 6th grade)  I remember the tears and sorrow we felt. I’m sure that we have all raised the question “What might have been”?  I know others have gone through this with classmates. You don’t forget…ever.

There is the DISCONNECT.

The day after graduation, I took off. To Anchorage, Alaska. There I lived for a few months with my sister and brother-in-law. I worked, then helped them move to Washington D.C. Then college, marriage, graduate school, family, 38 years in ministry.

What about your classmates?… I lost touch. Now I realize that there are two sides to every coin. Times were different. This was before the cell phone, the internet, social media. Class reunions? I think we had one. 

Yes, this is normal.

There is the RECONNECT. 

Social Media, for the good, (we will not discuss the bad) reconnected a few of us!  I guess that would be our reunions of today. We know about our past and present! Why there are even groups and pages about our school! 

Yes, you will have them too, and you will probably join. 

Just to keep up.

The “Class of 78” is in their late 50’s. They are parents, grand-parents. The last years of the “Baby Boomers”. Sadly, others have passed on.

What does our story tell? The same as every generation.

Life IS a journey, the roads taken are only determined by those that choose which road to travel. The final destination is determined by you. Choose wisely my friends. 

Choose the path a Savior has prepared. 

Happy 40 years to my classmates and for all others that celebrate this day!

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