Monday, April 28, 2008

Your Mark

Robert Orten once said, "A graduation ceremony is an event where the commencement speaker tells thousands of students dressed in identical caps and gowns that 'individuality' is the key to success." When you think about it, he is correct. All over our nation similar ceremonies with similar regalia will be happening this year. Many of the same thoughts like, "changing the world," or "here we come," or "nothing can stop us," or ""we've only just begun," will be heard all over the country. But before you scoff and say it is just the same old ceremony, many parents and grandparents will beg to differ. There may be millions of graduates from different centers of learning, but only one of those graduates is going to belong to them.

Those of us who are older can probably remember the assessment tests that were required by the state. While today everything seems to be computerized, in my day you needed a number two pencil. In honor of assessment tests and graduation, I would like to use some of the guidelines we once went by when we had to take those tests. I hope they will some provide some help for our graduates, as they try to make their mark in this world.

1. Read the entire question before you answer.
Our world is too fast paced. Many of life's questions will come at you quickly. But don't be in a rush to answer before you have considered all the facts. Who will you marry? Where will you live? What will be your occupation? These are going to take some time and prayer. Don't be in such a hurry. It may hurt your overall performance.

2. Choose the answer that best fits the question.
I always hated these questions! Why can't it just be a simple yes or no? And then there were those: neither A nor B, both A and C, none of the above, all of the above questions. I hated those even more! As life went on I discovered that many of the decisions I had to make turned out to be this way. There may not be an easy solution to your next challenge. Do the best you can to give an answer that suits the circumstance. Put your faith in God to help you through the difficult questions.

3. Make your mark dark.
We had number two pencils, and Scantron machines. We had to make sure we filled in the whole circle and that we filled it in dark enough for the scanner to read our test sheet correctly. If a person didn't make their mark dark, their answer wouldn't count. There is a very important analogy here. If you want to make a difference in the world, you need to make your mark with confidence. God only made one you. He has a purpose for you. He gave you a mark that is individual and unique. Make your life count. Jesus made marks that were dark. They went right through His hands and feet. They made an eternal difference. The greatest mark we can make will help others get to heaven. This is the mark of Christ.

The future lies before you
Like a field of driven snow,
Be careful how you tread it,
For every step will show.
~Author Unknown

"That they may set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep His commandments." ~ Psalm 78.7

1 comment:

  1. It's refreshing to see people concentrating on the REALLY important things to come after graduation. We often focus too much attention on academic achievements and financial sucess, then wonder why a young adult wonders away.

    Good stuff.