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A Smile or a Sigh, High School Graduation!

Graduation day. Most of us remember our high school graduation with either a smile or a sigh. Depending upon your experience in those days, you may have longed to stop time or been delighted to escape to new adventures. Graduation is such a milestone, it is a time to celebrate and a time to reflect.


Graduation day. Most of us remember our high school graduation with either a smile or a sigh. Depending upon your experience in those days, you may have longed to stop time or been delighted to escape to new adventures. Graduation is such a milestone, it is a time to celebrate and a time to reflect.

Each graduation season my husband and I spend some time with the senior class of our grandkids high school sharing what we call “Protocol.” This involves discussing everything from table manners to texting etiquette. We believe that good manners find their biblical mandate in Philippians 2:3-4. They really involve thinking more of the other person than of yourself.

Our final discussion involves discussing with the students what we title “Things I wish I’d known when I graduated from High School.” We expand on each one and suggest they talk with one another abut them. Maybe you’d like to add to our list from your experience for next year! A friend recently added this thought, “Everything your mother told you is true.”

Things I wish I had known when I graduated from High School…

1. Choices made in the next five years will have direct effect on most major areas of my life for the rest of my life.

2. Most choices are not irreversible, you can change majors and careers. You don’t have to obsess over every little decision. Some decisions have lifetime consequences. Seek counsel and take time with those.

3. Value any advice or observations available from some who have lived more years and had more life experience than you. Along the way they may have learned more than you think.

4. Seek at least one mentor and explore with them their willingness to talk and share their lives with you. Welcome advice, answers and observations.

5. You learn much more by asking questions and listening than you will by always talking and expressing your personal opinions.

6. God has a plan for your life. Spend as much time and energy as possible in finding out what it is and pursuing it.

7. Maintain old friends, yet always attempt to be making new ones. This will take time and intentionality but it is worth the investment of energy and time.

8. Never stop learning, commit yourself to become a lifetime learner in many ways, recreational, professional, hobbies, people skills, applied Biblical knowledge.

9. In choosing a career or direction in life, try to understand what you might experience by interviewing those active in your chosen field.

10. Recognize that each person you meet is unique. Develop an understanding and practical working knowledge of the basic variety of temperaments and personalities. It will help you to work well with those different from yourself.

11. Think of others first and higher than yourself. You can cultivate a healthy self view by finding and developing your spiritual gifts.

12. Measure your success not in degrees or possessions, but in your impact and influence for good on others.

13. Character is what you do in private when no-one else is around and no one but God will know.

14. Cultivate an attitude of gratitude toward those who have provided the wherewithal to assist you to gain your current station in life. Learn to express appreciation, admiration, and satisfaction in believable and understandable ways. Thank you notes are still appropriate!

15.Encourage others to achieve their full potential. Affirm them frequently.

16. In searching for and finding a life partner, allow a “best friend” relationship to precede romance and marriage. Compatibility for life is based upon a strong and thorough understanding of the other’s personality and character, and a conviction that I can accept the other person as is for life, without the necessity for major changes.

17. Choose to make regular worship and participation in a local church a lifetime priority. We were designed to be people in community.

Gwynne Johnson

Gwynne Johnson currently serves on the Board of Entrust, Inc., an international education and training mission where she authored the Entrust curriculum, Developing a Discerning Heart. She recently served as Co-Chair of the training project, Christian Women in Partnership, Russia and as Senior Director of Women's Ministry at Stonebriar Community Church in Frisco, Texas. Gwynne has a M.A. in Biblical Studies from Dallas Theological Seminary. She currently lives in Huntsville, Texas with her husband of 58 years, Don. She works part-time in her daughter and granddaughter's bakery "The Best Box Ever," where she gets paid in cookies.

One Comment

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    Dianne Miller

    so good for all of us to remember

    these truths are good reminders for all of us on the journey of life to the next place God has for us…well said..