By Steve Horn
By now you all know that another school shooting has happened — this time in Santa Fe, Texas. Closer to where I live, in the town of St. Martinville, Louisiana, my wife’s hometown, several students died the same day in a car accident. Fun events for seniors, who were anticipating their last day, were canceled. As I sat down to put some thoughts down, I got a news alert that a plane has crashed in Cuba.
Meanwhile, high school graduations in my area were happening all weekend.
Keenly aware that these graduating seniors aren’t reading my blog today or any day, if I could address every graduating senior, my words would go something like this.
Life is fragile. Life is short. Life is far from perfect. The only way to live life to the fullest is to be thankful. Be thankful because you know you didn’t get to where you are by yourself. Be thankful for parents, teachers, coaches, ministry leaders, the military, police, first responders, doctors, dentists, nurses, and many others. Most of all, give thanks to God. I went to a high school sports awards program the other night put on by our local paper. I was thankful and impressed that most every student gave thanks to God.
Alex Haley, author of Roots kept a picture of a turtle sitting on a fence post near his desk. He said about the picture, “Anytime you see a turtle sitting on a fence post you know that the turtle did not get there without some help.”
Every single one of us is just like that—we did not get to where we are without a lot of help, including the help of God.
Keep seeking truth.
This is probably not what high school seniors want to hear as they graduate, but “You are never finished learning.” We are always learning. We will face tests every day of our lives, and we better know truth to face these tests. My college roommate is a medical doctor. He studied hard as a college student, medical student, and resident. When he had finished all of his formal education and had begun his medical practice, I said something really stupid to him. “You must be so happy to know that you will never take another test again?”
I will never forget his answer. “I am studying harder than ever before. I take a test with every patient that I see, and if I fail that test, the result will be much worse than a failing grade.”
He’s right. Life is a test. School is just the preparation for us to take tests the rest of our lives. Today is a test. How do we process all that is happening in our world today? We must know truth.
Turn your eyes upon Jesus.
This gets us through these tough Fridays. Life is hard to explain. We better be armed with fundamental truth for the complexities of life.
This is not just for graduating seniors. This is for all of us.
God, help us. God, help Santa Fe, Texas. God, help St. Martinville, Louisiana. God help Cuba. There’s a lot of hurt in our world today.
Steve Horn is pastor of First Baptist Church in Lafayette and is a past Louisiana Baptist Convention president. This editorial first appeared on his blog, which can be accessed here.