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.”
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.”