A Journey of Significance
A Journey of Significance
“Accomplishments will prove to be a journey not a destination” (Dwight D. Eisenhower).
There is an innate lure for recognition in all of us. We travel many different roads to be significant, to gain influence or to be heard and acknowledged. Words from others become part of the treasury of our souls. Some of our greatest disappointments are when we have worked hard, overcome many obstacles and no one notices. The university graduation is one way we acknowledge the sacrifices and service of all who contributed to the success of our graduates, but it also affirms the stewardship of each student in enriching their minds and hearts. In many ways we view education as one of the pathways to make our mark or to become significant. Horace Mann said: “if any man seeks for greatness, let him forget greatness and ask for truth, and he will find both.” So, our work of faith integration is celebrated at commencement twice a year as a foundation for “leadership and service.”
This week we graduate over 900 students with undergraduate, graduate and seminary degrees. Whether they started with us as first-year students, transfers or graduate students, each surrendered parts of their lives to the influence of the FPU community. We pray and trust their journey of significance continues in truth and wisdom.
Graduation for our community is a time of reflection, appreciation and anticipated lives of maturity and significance. Our mission to develop students for leadership and service informs our teaching, administration and relationships. Each school, seminary and department mirrors our mission and values in their relationships and work. We as staff and faculty attempt to model our values; not only to be examples for our students but for one another. Our care, patience and love are grounded in truth and wisdom that comes through our relationship with Jesus our Lord. We appreciate and celebrate this opportunity to provide this gift to our students. A gift we trust will be passed on to others.
Our graduating class, like our student body, is very diverse. Diversity here stretches beyond race and ethnicity but includes diversity in faith. These graduates chose to become part of this faith community when many had not come to decisions of faith. We pray our work with them is always an expression of the person of Jesus. He provides the example, leads the journey and grants the significance.
When arguments erupt among the disciples about significance in their journey Jesus grants them wisdom from above. Jesus marks out the journey and says: “whoever wants to be great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave to all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:43-45). Our hope is that most of our graduates have discovered this wisdom that has been modeled before them. Let us pray that their journeys of significance will be marked by their love and service to others.