They file into the room with some trepidation, nervously excited and with surreal awareness that from this point the future begins. Graduation day, so long awaited, feels mixed – a goodbye to “before,” with all its trials and triumphs – and an open door to “next”…not the same as before. “Ready-to-be-done,” fights with, “Am-I-ready-for-next?” in hearts.
A few confidently anticipate the awaiting adventure. The challenge of stepping into “more” courses through their bodies, almost quivering in eagerness to climb the mountain of “next.” But others feel the hesitance of anxiety. How will this work out? What will happen when…? What will happen if…? What if I can’t figure out what I’m supposed to do? Their excitement has little to land on except, “I think I’m ready to try.”
Adult hearts looking on twist with knowing. Familiar with the hopes and eager dreams of all the “nexts,” memories wake of that feeling. Bittersweet pain and joy entwine as we remember how it felt to walk that road of learning about life, ourselves, and God. Oh, that’s a road. Twisty, surprising, disappointing, exhilarating…how to even capture all it holds? The parent heart quivers, seeking to trust, and pours out prayer upon prayer. “God, thank you for who you birthed. Help them as they go.”
Courage drives these moments. Without its fortification, hearts might fail and turn back, succumbing to the idea that the future is too much, too overwhelming. Without its nerve, we might be tempted to die rooted in the familiar, leaving “daring” to go on without us. Without its chutzpah, we might actually begin to believe that safely arrived means an absence of bold audacity – the kind that risks a small pebble to kill a giant.
When change comes with its griefs, questions, and whiffs of new, we must not forget courage as we move through its open door. Wrap it around you, breathe it in you, remember it until it’s alive in your soul. Because you have stories. Stories that affirm the rightness of this risk and the values of growing, learning, and becoming. And, in the end, isn’t that what change is about? Becoming? Whether it’s location, season of life, education, birth, life, or death. All these changes come so that we might become…more of who Jesus made us to be…which… is more like Jesus Himself.
Are there giants in the land? Absolutely. Will it be costly? Undoubtedly. Will we come out of the battle unscathed? No. But when we move forward with courage, we discover that what made it worth it, was that we came out changed.
ACTION: What might courage look like for you today? What might bold audacity look like on you?