Thursday, May 12, 2016

Work on the long game

Dear Michael,

Twenty-two years ago, you made me a mom. Last weekend, you made me a MOECG, a Mom of Employed College Graduate. (Kudos to your Uncle Rodney for that acronym.)

The speakers at your graduation ceremony made a big ol’ deal about all the hard work you and your fellow graduates put into your degrees. There was a lot of talk about how successful y’all will be. Even the man who offered the benediction prayed for favor and success for you and your fellow graduates. As I’ve written before, graduating and getting a job has always been the expectation in our family. And the fact that you’ve done just that is a wonderful accomplishment! We are very proud of you.

But as you move into this new phase of your life, you will be tempted to find fulfillment in new experiences or new stuff. Your job and your new apartment will bring you happiness for sure. Having the resources to take care of your own expenses is, indeed, fabulous. (Dad and I are quite excited that you can take care of your own expenses!) There is much good to be found in your job and apartment and 20-something experiences – they will hopefully bring you much happiness.

But as you’ve heard us say more times than you can count, your happiness is not our main concern. We actually care very little about your happiness. Don't get me wrong - we don't want you to be unhappy. We aren’t cruel! We just prefer to focus on your long game, which is why we're way more concerned with your comfort. And what is your only comfort in life and death?

That I am not my own, but belong—body and soul, in life and in death—to my faithful Savior, Jesus Christ. He has fully paid for all my sins with his precious blood, and has set me free from the tyranny of the devil. He also watches over me in such a way that not a hair can fall from my head without the will of my Father in heaven; in fact, all things must work together for my salvation. Because I belong to him, Christ, by his Holy Spirit, assures me of eternal life and makes me wholeheartedly willing and ready from now on to live for him.

Does that preclude having a sweet new job? Does it mean you shouldn’t enjoy that new TV you bought with your very own money that you’ll put in your cool apartment? Nope to both. But it does mean that you should hold all these gifts loosely, knowing that when you go through a time of difficulty – be it a job loss or a heartache or some other issue that is sure to come as you live in a fallen world – that nothing happens to you that catches God off-guard. Everything, the ups and the downs, good and bad, works together for your good.

So enjoy your first apartment. Enjoy the job in the dream location. Enjoy these once-in-a-lifetime experiences. But remember to give thanks to the one who provides them. Put your hope in Him and seek every opportunity to give God the glory.

Much love,

On the way in...

On the way out - all graduated!