It is that time of year when graduations are all around. As a program director at Bethel University, faculty break out the bulky hot robes with weird hoods and silly hats for commencement. As awkward as it feels, it is fun to celebrate with students who have worked so hard for their accomplishments. This year I had the joy of watching three students who had come through my bachelor’s program together and was now receiving their master’s degree. We think of these times throughout our education, but we also have graduations in faith.
I’ve been reflecting on major milestones in my faith realizing they are a form of a graduation. The first milestone for me was when I was sixteen. I had always believed in God, prayed, attended church and youth group. That summer during worship on a mission trip, I “got it.” I had this moment of profound realization that Christ’s death and resurrection was for me, personally. It was a graduation in faith. There have been many of these throughout the years.
11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. (1Corinthians 13:11-12 NIV).
Through continual education, reading, praying, learning and communing with God there will be more graduations to come. It is a journey I have committed to in my faith. I choose to keep growing and not let faith become stagnant. When I do feel stuck because let’s face it, it does happen. These words from Paul help push me forward.
13 But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love. (1 Corinthians 13:13 MSG).
What are your graduation in faith stories? What are your pivotal moments that have marked your journey? Share them here and breathe life and bring hope to others.