We’ve been sending graduation cards to friends at the end of one thing and on the edge of another. The writers of these cards know what commencement speakers understand: you can be funny, profound or daring, but whatever tack you choose, be brief. If so, and provided you have been funny, daring or profound, your words will linger.
In the midst of this, I’ve been reading Deuteronomy, where Moses is retelling the story of God’s provision for Israel. Towards the end of his talk (in Deut 30:20), he sums up with a memorable statement:
The Lord is your life.
Did Moses’ audience hear this? They’ve finally finished a long slog in the wilderness, and now they’re looking across the Jordan River into a land filled with milk and honey–and giants. At a time like this, it’s easy to be so occupied with other stuff that even a pithy charge from some well-meaning speaker goes unheard. But it’s also possible that at a time like this, one is ready to pay attention.
A graduation brings a change of life into sharp relief, and they’re rightly to be celebrated. Still, even our ‘normal’ days are routinely full of completions and embarkations; we’re often commencing to do something, having finished something else. I need to remember that, and to bear in mind what Moses said as I go through them: that the Lord is my life. I want to believe that, want to live like it’s true.