Moments with Mike: Mike’s Moment with the Grads

May 29, 2013

Each of you has some type of plans for the future. If I were to ask you individually what your plans are after graduation, one might mention college; another would report plans for other technical training; another, a career in a particular field; another, maybe ministry or mission work. The variety of plans that could be made is endless. Or maybe you haven’t quite figured out what your next step will be. If that’s the case don’t despair. I’ll have to admit, I went to college simply because everyone kept telling me I should go. I eventually figured out a feasible plan and everything worked out just fine.

I believe everyone has within them the desire to do something meaningful with their life. I believe you want to do something that has an impact on others. I recently read an article on the one hundred most influential people of all time. It contained the names of a wide variety of people including doctors, scientists, musicians, religious leaders, political rulers and leaders, business leaders and athletes. Each person was on the list because they made such an impact on the world around them (good or bad) that they will always be remembered.

Deciding what you do with your life is a hard decision that often changes along the way. Let me share with you some thoughts on how to live a life that will have a positive impact on those around you no matter what your vocation or situation. You may not end up on the top 100 list I referred to, but you will impact many and will leave a lasting legacy by doing these things.

First, live a life of giving. The Bible says in Luke 6:38, “Give and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the same measure you use, it will be measured to you.” This verse includes time, money and effort. The world is full of takers; be a giver. Our family gives to an organization that feeds hungry children. I had a picture of one of these children and someone once told me, “You know you’ll never solve world hunger.” I remember saying, “I solved it for her, didn’t I?” Be a giver. You may not change the world, but you can change somebody’s world.

Follow your passions and dreams. God gives these to you as a guide for what He wants you to do with your life. (Parents, remember they need to follow their dreams, not your dreams for them.) I always tell parents to give their children the opportunities they need to be able to discover and follow their own passions. When there is too much pressure from parents, there are two possible outcomes: either the student will follow his passions anyway, causing conflict, or he will live a frustrated and unfulfilled life trying to follow someone else’s passions and desires.

Pay attention and listen to those who have gone before you. Yes, that would include your parents. Nobody in this world cares more for you and has your best interest at heart more than they do. They have sacrificed so much to allow you to be homeschooled. As mature adults, they have also gone through many things in life, good and bad, and are there to give you guidance along your life’s path. That is a huge help and advantage for you, so use it!

Academics are important, and you need to put emphasis on them, but the most important thing you can do is to put your main focus on character. The Bible says in Proverbs 22:1, “A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.” Who you are is much more important than simply what you know or how much money you have. Focusing on character, teamwork and leadership will help you in your career, as well as in developing who you are meant to be. And yes, don’t forget about the academics as well!

I’m sure I could expand and add more, but I usually try to keep things simple. As you live a giving life, focus on your dreams and passions, take counsel from your elders, and focus on developing your character, you’ll make an impact on those around you no matter what vocation or avocation you chose for your life. I would say good luck but luck really has nothing to do with it. Congratulations on your graduation, and please don’t forget to thank your parents!

 

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