Friday, May 23, 2008

Class of 2008

Today, I gave the baccalaureate address for the Niles McKinley High School class of 2008. Boy do I feel old! When I was graduating high school, these kids were still in pre-school! O.K., I am not that old, but thinking about that fact makes you pause for a moment.

As I spoke this afternoon, I wondered, 'What are we accomplishing here?' Another milestone on their way to the cap and gown, another step on the way to bigger and better things. What could I possibly say that could inspire these kids? Not much. But I hope that this service was an opportunity for them to hear that their community loves and honors them, and that we're all behind them in their achievements. I hope they saw a young(er) pastor, and thought, 'Hmm, maybe I could do that some day--though not in as geeky a way, for sure.'

The phrase that I began my sermon with was the quotation by Abe Lincoln that was carved into the Summit county sandstone in my high school auditorium-- "I will study and get ready, and perhaps some day my chance will come." Prophetic words from a young Lincoln, unsure of what to do with his education, and not sure how he could ever make a difference in this world as a gangly lawyer from Illinois. Now, another gangly lawyer from Illinois (by way of Hawaii and Indonesia) is poised to make just as much history, thanks in no small part to Mr. Lincoln's leadership.

I think I'm going to go outside now and get my bike ready for the riding season. Our church is taking a bike ride (gulp--22 miles round trip!) at the end of June, and I am pretty sure I am not in any shape to attempt that without any buildup.

See you on the road,


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