In just a few days Madison, my baby girl, will be graduating from Franklin High School. The empty nest awaits Robyn and me as we watch with excitement and a touch of sorrow as our little girl—all grown up—takes wings.
This week I witnessed the early stages of this rite of passage, as I sat through a senior class awards ceremony. As I looked down on the senior class sitting in various stages of boredom my mind contemplated what kind of world awaited them. I fear that our ultimate graduation gift to the Class of 2012 is a broken dysfunctional world.
Immediately my mind raced back in time to the year 1978. The year I graduated from Texas High in Texarkana, Texas. Jimmy Carter was the president of the United States while “Happy Days”, “Charlie’s Angels” and the scandalous “Three’s Company “filled our television screens.
As a high school graduate I knew little about the world I inherited. I vaguely knew that President Carter orchestrated peace talks between lifelong enemies Egypt and Israel that led to a peace treaty that cost Anwar Sadat his life. I had barely heard of Afghanistan where a military coup ended the rule of Daoud Khan.
Since I was not paying the bills I was not concerned about a skyrocketing inflation rate of 7.62%, or that the U.S. dollars was plunging to record lows against foreign currencies.
I did know that the Dallas Cowboys defeated the Denver Broncos in the Super Bowl and that the cost of gasoline had risen to the soaring price of 63 cents a gallon since I had a driver’s license and had just begun filling up my car at the new “self-service” islands. Of course, little did I know how my world was going to change because of the first cellular mobile phone system launched in Illinois—a huge step forward in technology and communication and a huge loss in terms of privacy and personal time.
As I reflected back I realized my parents handed me a broken world too. I suspect since the day that Cain sat down with his children, every generation has had to deal with the brokenness of a world covered with the finger prints of humanity.
God fixes things, and we break them—sometimes even when we mean to fix them.
My wish for Madison and the class of 2012 is rather simple. Since my little girl loves country music I will use some of the lyrics of a hit song by Rascal Flatts called “My Wish.”
“My wish, for you, is that this life becomes all that you want it to, Your dreams stay big, and your worries stay small, You never need to carry more than you can hold, And while you’re out there getting where you’re getting to, I hope you know somebody loves you, and wants the same things too, Yeah, this, is my wish.”
Of course since I am a preacher I have to slip in a bit of sage advice I held onto as I raced into 1978 as a high school graduate.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV