May 21, 2018
Yesterday we traveled to the little town of Winnett, Montana, to award a scholarship in memory of our son Josh, who figures prominently in my book, Walking at the Speed of Light, because his death began my journey through grief and depression to a deeper faith. We were pleased to give two scholarships this year, both to young people who had struggled in school and were not the top of their class academically. But they both chose to go on in schooling in trade professions, one in diesel mechanics and the other in cosmetology, and we like to reward those goals because we need our trades people every bit as much as we need our academic college grads.
The commencement speaker at Winnett emphasized three things which I wish every graduate in America could be directed towards –particularly rather than political diatribes. He exhorted the students to pursue passion, flexibility and persistence. In this day and age, all three of these are essential to success, and it is interesting that at the time I graduated the one quality which might not be mentioned is flexibility, something which becomes more crucial with more and more technological change.
However, I would like to add that faith is essential. Faith in self is emphasized a lot, and of course we want our young people to overcome self doubts and failures and to continue to believe that they can continue to try and to succeed. However, faith in something greater than ourselves is fundamental to fulfilled lives. Too often young people are shown examples by their elders of people who turn to faith in God only when times get unbearable, as though Jesus serves as a triage doctor rather than a focus for real faith and real life.
If you have a teenager or young adult in your life, encourage true faith in Jesus, guidance from His words and actions, and belief that every person is worth dying for, worth saving, worth granting life far beyond a focus on the years beyond high school. That kind of faith makes for a bright future!