This Year’s Finest Take Hold of the Future Shelly Pond 1 Jun 2017 no comments Congratulations graduates! They’ve studied hard and passed the test, achieving a high school diploma. Graduation is a time for students to enjoy life together and look forward to pursing their dreams. Each class has a distinct personality and faces unique challenges. “This class has great confidence in who they are and where they are going,” notes Mike Critch, Westminster Academy’s Dean of Upper School. “What excites me for the future of the Class of 2017 is the unkown God has in store for them There are technological advancements that will impact their lives which have not even been dreamed of yet. In God’s sovereignty, He will expose these things to these young adults and offer them the opportunity to advance the Gospel message in ways that are currently incomprehensible.” Bright futures ahead We look forward to seeing how God will use them in the future as they realize their potential, agreed Larry Smith, Upper School Principal at Highlands Christian Academy. At a time when the nation seems more divided than ever, Smith said the strength of this class is their concern and support for each other. Their cohesiveness and care for one another may be due to a core group of 14 students who have been spent their school career together. Coral Springs Christian School Principal, Leroy Schwab pointed to three distinct characteristics of this year’s graduates. They have a servant’s spirit, having logged numerous community service hours, served as discipleship leaders, and were very diligent in using the gifts they have to excel. It’s been a good class. Schwab said he’s encouraged that “They’ve demonstrated a maturity in understanding the gifts they’ve been given are to be shared. And they are forward thinking. As Paul encouraged Timothy to, ‘press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call,’ they have really done that. I am excited about what they’ll accomplish, as these are our future leaders,” he added. Words of wisdom What wisdom do these seasoned professionals offer today’s youth? Smith’s advice to graduates is that they “remember the biblical principles they’ve been taught and maintain their commitment to Jesus Christ.” Schwab said, “My advice is to say… time is short. We are only here for a short time. The Bible describes it as a mist or vapor. We are here today and gone tomorrow, so plan accordingly. Build your life around things that are eternal and choose your friends wisely. Who you are with determines the direction of your life, whether wise or foolish.” He encourages graduates to “remember your foundation and build on truth, not untruth.” As Psalm 1 illustrates, “How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked…But his delight is in the law of the Lord…He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water… in whatever he does, he prospers.” Build this into your own families, choose to run the race with endurance and be faithful to your calling, he added. “My advice to our seniors is to run hard after God,” said Critch. “Pursue Him in everything that you do. Don’t look to the right or left; that is a distraction designed by Satan. You will find true joy and ultimate freedom when you strive to excellence in God’s eyes exclusively. He will provide all of the social aspects to your life — friends, spouse, church and vocational fulfillment — if you listen for His voice.” Overcoming obstacles But there will be challenges along the way. “Some of our students have been living in the Christian ‘bubble’ all of their lives and will need to deal with the reality of the university culture.” Be prepared to be persecuted, warned Schwab. “Our American culture has become not just neutral, but openly hostile to spiritual things, and because of that, I think persecution in their life will take an even stronger degree. There is such division in our country, hostility toward Christian people and a movement to remove God and move to a secular society. I think its intensifying and I don’t think it’s getting better apart from a revival. This is something we need to prepare our kids for.” Yet Critch remains optimistic, “This class has great confidence in who they are and where they are going. I believe it is important to them that they do everything to their maximum potential, leaving nothing undone.” For more articles by Shelly Pond, please visit goodnewsfl.org/author/shelly/ Share this articleTweet Leave a Reply Click here to cancel reply. You must be logged in to post a comment.