This past weekend, I had the privilege of witnessing two milestones: a graduation and a baptism.  I realize that the older I get, the more joy I get out of celebrating significant events in friend’s lives.  You’re afforded a front-row seat to a wonderful display.  While they are nervous and excited and many times sweaty, (cause GA heat’ll just do that to you), I was able to sit back and bask in the glow of a culmination.

This was a new beginning for both of them.  For Winny*, the twelve-year-old that had been baptized this was a new start, a way to testify to her family and friends that God is just beginning to do in her life.  I felt the same way when I got baptized as an adult.  It was still a very rough time in my life, but there, in that water, regeneration took place, the scales fell off, and I had to see this new start as what GOD was going to do, not what I could do on my own, but what a body of believers was going to help me do in my life (which, I guess is why we can’t baptize ourselves and perhaps that is why Jesus asked John to do it).  Wow.  Seriously, if I had been John the Baptist, I would have been a weeping, trembling, penitent mess, but that’s kinda what we all are…we are gifted with Christ inside our bodies, and his Holy Spirit at work within us, then why don’t we pay more attention to that?  Why are we not just week-kneed and trembling getting out of bed in the morning, when we realize the enormity of what lives inside of us?  Maybe that goes back to the fear and reverence we should have in Christ. His power can help us accomplish great things, to forgive, to heal, to move forward, to become stronger and more resilient in our faith–

And, my friend’s graduation…so amazing, I’ve known her for less then two years, but I think the world of her, because of the things she has overcome and has started on the road to accomplishing huge goals in her life.  She has been an inspiration to me that big victories start with small goals and that’s the only way you’re going to get anything done.  Andrew Young spoke at her commencement and it was captivating.  He said these words (paraphrasing), “Everybody is gonna tell you to get a job–and you’re probably gonna have to get a job, but more than that, I want you to get a life.  I want you to give back.  Individually, each one of you has been through some trying circumstances.  Your life should be about helping other people out of those same circumstances.”  Oh, I wanted so badly to stand up and whoop but everything else he said was just as spell-binding, so I decided to save my overly enthusiastic hand-clapping for the end like everyone else.

And as we come to the end of this school year, it might be a good time to reflect on what God has done in your life this year.  What has he given the strength to accomplish?  What mindsets have you overcome?  What goals do you have yet to accomplish?  What can you do today to get one step closer?

*name changed

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