In the midst of moving weekend this past Saturday, I drove with Katie, my boys, and my mom (and my dad met us down there) for my graduation ceremony. I've been doing this program around the clock (literally) for 2 years... and Saturday I got to see my fellow students and just enjoy the celebration of hard work.
The ceremony was quite humbling for a lot of reasons. First of all, I got the best grades of my life in this program... I won't tell you my GPA, but let me just say that if they handed out honors for this degree I'd have received them. Coming from a kid who got C's in high school, this blows me away. You never know what God can do to a brain given over to him, so to Him be the glory on this.
Then there was seeing my fellow buddies... there were about 16 of us who started out the program together. Only 6 of us made it, though, because the program's intensity balanced with life weeded out a few of us. To see my "brothers" - guys I didn't know two years ago but can't imagine not knowing now - was priceless.
Finally, just before we were ready to walk in, we made a long line around the inside of a gymnasium. Right then the school faculty came in and in one long marching line walked around and applauded us all, looking each graduate in the eye as they did. One of my mentors gave me a hug... another priceless moment.
The ceremony was amazing... but perhaps what rocked most was hearing my wife and boys yell out "woo-hoo!" and "Yay, Daddy!" when I crossed the stage. Afterwards I was able to hug them hard, not to mention my mom and dad. I'll tell you what... my wife deserves a diploma for putting up with all my late nights and piles of homework while she watched the boys.
Anyway, I have another degree... but more importantly, I received an education and formed lifetime friendships that are priceless. Like my graduation from college several years ago, I now stand on the edge of a new phase of life.
Perhaps that's why this verse comes to mind...
"For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen." (Romans 11:36)