I saw a post on Facebook this morning that it was 52 years ago this evening that my class graduated from high school. In a matter of moments I was flooded with memories that simultaneously warmed my heart as well as somewhat saddened me.
Like many, my high school years were filled with joy, excitement, challenge, fun, and friendship. I think what saddened me that night was the realization that things would have to move forward and never be the same.
While several classmates stayed in the area and are still living there, the next fall many of us left and went away to college only to return periodically. Whether we moved on or not from our hometowns, we had no choice but to take steps to what was next now that high school was completed.
The reminder of high school graduation, however, is only one memory of other significant changes in my life the past 52 years. And with each reminder of a significant change in my life, like my graduation from high school, I am flooded with memories that both warm my heart as well as somewhat sadden me.
Clearly the best significant change in my life came five years after graduating from high school when Jan and I married. As you can imagine, over the course of our 47 years we have more memories than we can recall without something priming the pump.
During our 47 years of marriage we have been blessed with the birth of two children, both of which brought about significant change. We have also moved three times, two of which were to accept a new opportunity in ministry, and the third was to relocate to be close to our grandsons and daughter.
What I’ve been reminded of and learned from these significant changes is that change can be sad, happy, difficult, and exciting all at the same time.
My sense is that everyone of us can probably think back on something or somethings we would change if we could. Unfortunately, that is not an option—we cannot go back. One of C.S. Lewis’ many quotes speaks to this post, “You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.”
What I’m doing today is thinking back on our graduation from Princeton High School on June 9, 1969. I remember the excitement and the good; I’m also reminded of my sadness and loss that soon passed as we moved forward the past 52 years.
I’m please to mark this occasion and look back with both gratitude and mixed feelings. Maybe my reflections will stimulate your thinking about your past whether you graduated from high school earlier or later than the class of 1969.
As I look to tomorrow and beyond I am hopeful and trusting in the LORD.
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