Tonight was a happy/sad time for me.
It was the last Seniors’ Night I’ll ever lead for River Valley Campus Life. It was the last normal Campus Life meeting I’ll ever do. It was probably the last time I’ll see all these great kids together in the same place. (Shoot, I gotta stop or I’ll make myself cry just writing about it.)
But it’s also the culmination of many years of building into some precious human lives. Delaney has been a part of our ministry since she was in 6th grade. Margie since 2008 or 2009. Jesse first got involved in 7th grade, but I’ve known him since 6th grade. Mikey has been coming regularly since he was a freshman, but I knew him back in middle school. Some got plugged in and just started growing and growing in their faith. Others are still trying to figure things out. Others found Jesus, then wandered away, then came back, and are now stronger for it. Some, those not pictured, got involved, started to change, then drifted away. (Those are the ones I really miss and worry about… the ones I pray for most.)
And it’s also the commencement of something new. For our seniors, this is the start of life in the “real world,” life on their own. Some will fail miserably. Others will succeed. But my God is fashioning and shaping each of their lives, and if he was big enough and stubborn enough to grab hold of my heart and change it, then he can do the same for these.
In Campus Life tradition, my prayers for my students stem from Jeremiah 29:11: “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord. ‘They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.'”
To the Class of 2012: May the God who created the cosmos, who knows your heart, who came in the flesh to pursue you and win you and free you from the debt of sin, may he guide you into his good plans, and may you follow him not as a stubborn mule but as a friend of God, attentive to his every desire.