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Saturday, July 20, 2024

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A Word for Our Graduates

A Word for Our Graduates

By Amy Patsch

Amy Patsch
Amy Patsch

It is the season of celebrating our graduates from high schools and colleges. These students are planning their futures and for many it is an exciting time anticipating being treated as full-fledged adults. Oh what joys and surprises await each of them. 

I wish I could personally give each graduate a bit of life-learned advice because for many of us this move into adulthood included the process of learning the true value of our goals.

As far as careers I was one who tried many different jobs before finding my love of the legal field thanks to a nurse practitioner I worked with at the VA Hospital in Seattle. She evaluated my work and my work ethic and explained to me that I was being underutilized in my job. She not only advised me but she acted and spoke with her brother, an attorney, who, on her recommendation, guided me to seek employment in a law firm close to my home. It was a match truly made in heaven. Working in law was a career I enjoyed immensely which engaged my mind in an endless adventure of learning.

To be clear, though, this final happy career change occurred when I was 30 years old. Yes, I had a lot of learning to do after my own graduation but everything I learned along the way was used in my career in the legal field.

While my career schooling was proceeding, God was working on reaping what had been sown in my younger life. It wasn’t that I made an intentional turn away from God but somewhere along the way I became more interested in life and the activities of life than I did in God and what He wanted for my life. 

I hadn’t stopped praying or going to church but I had talked myself into believing that God wasn’t really all that interested in what I did day to day but only in the final outcome of my life. That thinking brought me to a long, slow slide off the rails and into a crashing heap. 

One day as I looked around at all that I had, my career, my husband, our house, our families, I was stupefied (such an appropriate word) to find out how little satisfaction these brought to me. The more I considered my life the worse it seemed until eventually I fell to my knees and asked the Lord what more did He want from me? I worked hard, I went to church, I helped others but I was so very empty when I believed I should be full.

Ah, this was the very moment God had patiently waited for over many years. The Bible tells us our God is long-suffering and I must agree. How sad for Him to know exactly what would bless His child in life but instead He watched as I followed every path except that one He had designed especially for me.

Can it just be me who waited too long to admit that the real value in life is working for God, my Holy Father, Creator of the Universe, the One who calls Himself my Redeemer and my friend? Not so, I have read and heard stories similar to mine too many times to think that is true. 

There must be great joy in learning this lesson of seeking God’s will early in life when we are young, sweetly naïve, and untouched by the pollution of the world. But, that isn’t true for many of us. As we muddled our way through life following the path that appeared best to us we ended up wasting time or making bad choices. Time that would have been better spent if directed by God. 

This is why I would suggest to each graduate to seriously seek God and His will for your life now. Don’t waste time seeking worldly pleasures that bring no satisfaction when you can go right to the source of eternal love and ask God and what He has planned for you.

I sometimes wonder what path God might have had set for me if I had asked His advice earlier on.  Because I didn’t ask, God patiently took me through His style of a worldly maze, created by Him at each of my wrong turns, to get me to the place where now I begged Him to tell me what to do. Finally, I didn’t just want to follow God loosely but now I wanted Him to walk with me through the rest of my life and never leave my side. It was a big change in my attitude and an endless blessing in my life.

Graduates, my heart-learned advice, “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God. . . ” Matt. 6:33.

ED. NOTE: Amy Patsch writes from Ocean City. Email her at writerGoodGod@gmail.com.

Columnist

Amy Patsch writes religious and faith-based opinion content for the Cape May County Herald.

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