Show me the map

By Darlene Warren

Can you feel it? There's a definite sense of anticipation building in our communities. There's something different going on around here. Something that doesn't happen any other time of the year. It doesn't seem to be as difficult to get your children out of bed, and off to school, as it normally does. There's more talk around the house of field trips, banquets, and graduations.

Schools all over the country have opened their doors, and ecstatic young people are pouring through them without so much as a backward glance. The excitement is exhilarating; it's also contagious.

Even after all these years, all I have to do is close my eyes and I can conjure up that euphoric state myself. There's a certain heightened sense of intense relief that permeates the atmosphere during the month of May. The air is a little bit sweeter, the grass is a shade greener, and the birds even seem happier. All is right with the world. Everything's kosher, as we say.

As a kid, there's not a doubt in your mind that you can endure almost anything during this time, because no matter how bad it seems, your freedom is imminent! Freedom from schedules, classes, teachers and research papers. You have made it through another year. Hallelujah!

That feeling changes slightly, though, when it comes your turn to cross the stage and accept your diploma. Oh, don't get me wrong, you still have that euphoric feeling, but it's all bundled up with other feelings, as well. Feelings of fear, and uncertainty about the future. Feelings such as, Am I really ready for this? Where will I go, and what will I do?

The jig's up. It's time to make decisions that will affect the rest of your life, and you're not sure what to do. How well I remember trying to decide what I should do. The most anticipated time in your life has finally arrived, but it didn't come alone. It came with lots of questions you didn't have the answers to.

Graduation is like being handed a road map. You may not even know which direction you should take; you just know it's time to get started. Others may know where to start, but when you look at the map, it seems there are a million different ways to get there. If money is not a factor (and money is nice, no question about it), you could take a plane and get there in a hurry. Generally, though, most of us have to hitch-hike, ride for as long as we can, and then get out and walk a while.

One thing is for certain; You won't be going down this road again, so it only makes sense to take a little time to enjoy the scenery.

Finally, I happen to believe God looks out for us in ways we can never know.

He guides us when we let Him, and one way we can let Him is by weighing the decisions we have to make against His words of wisdom.

Read what He has to say. (One day He may speak to us personally, but until then all we have are words on paper.)

Obviously, you will fall many, many times in your life (we all do), but if you can remember to pick yourself up and keep going, God will always be there for you. I know God is almighty, but I think even God has trouble helping those who keep pushing Him away.

Remember, you are beginning a journey that will last a lifetime. Don't rush the trip!

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