President's Graduation Message 2013

As I write this message, I just came fresh from reading the second chapter of Apostle Paul’s letter to the Colossians where he mentioned at the outset about how that he was in agony over the believers in the church of Colosse. The reason for such is that some members of the church were easily deceived by those who use philosophy, vain deceit and sweet-sounding words that do not at all bring them any closer to God. As a spiritual father to these believers, Paul was very much concerned.

Reflecting upon this passage, I am brought to the awareness about how that we all, in some way or the other, are also pretty much under obligation to be concerned over matters that tend to bring us away from achieving the ideal goal for our children because our eyes are drawn to the glitter of things that easily impress us. Medals, honors, certificates are things that glitter and impress. Yet these are just tokens of a portion of who our children are, have become or at least should become. They don’t necessarily reflect the totality of them. If we aim for that which fills the head with lots and lots of knowledge, then our job is done and we can rejoice in the magnitude of our accomplishment. Every medal and citation is a testament to a job well done and we can sleep well at night feeling good about ourselves. But if we aim for life-transforming experiences for our children, then that is something else we need to agonize over, just like the Apostle did.

As a second parent to your children, I am a witness to their growing up and their struggles to become. Some have to fight against uncontrollable urges. Others have to mature to the reality that the world is not all about them. It’s good that we only have a few of them to watch for. With our limited capacity to be vigilant over these sweet creatures of God, we are glad we can watch over most, if not all, of them. We do our best to teach them about numbers, languages and how to make sense of their world. But as they grow older, they also become aware of another force within. A force that left uncontrolled and unguided, has a great potential for good or evil. In fact the greatest danger in people is not in their lack of knowledge but in their lack of ability how to use their knowledge for good. This is our greater aim, even our ideal aim for our children. Thus the notion of transformation and the important role we have to effect such a change.

 Eventually, time will tell if we have done our job. Most definitely, it is not apparent during graduation rites but as you interact with them and observe them as they come home at the end of every day. There is even no guarantee that they will experience the kind of transformation that we expect of them soon. The same seed will grow at a different rate depending on the overall condition it is planted on. The only thing we can guarantee is that we will plant the seed. And it is our best hope that whatever we have planted, you as our partners will water and nurture in the hope that someday the fruit that we all expect will sprout from their very being.

 Today, we will say goodbye to some of our children as they move upward to another level. Some will continue to be under our mentoring still because of Rosehill Church. But others will be out of our hands forever and their fate will be left in yours and the Lord’s. May God give you the wisdom to guide them well.

 

Pastor Gerry