Graduates Sailing Into Uncertainty

Graduates Sailing Into Uncertainty

Our oldest great-nephew graduates from high school this week, but we won’t be there. The last time we checked, even his parents weren’t sure they would be admitted.

2020 Graduates Sailing Into UncertaintyIn late June, a day before our great-nephew was originally scheduled to graduate, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo gave the green light for outdoor ceremonies of up to 150 people.

With 350 in our great-nephew’s graduating class, the mathematical and logistical problems are obvious. Live-streaming to remote well-wishers appeared to be the way things would go.

The ever-changing prospects of a second wave of coronavirus infections and other uncertainties made us decide in late we June didn’t want to make the drive to Long Island for a July 25 family celebration, either.

That’s the way it has gone during 2020, a year filled with uncertainty and disappointment.

Words of Wisdom

I’ve never been a commencement speaker. Given the current scenario, I’m glad I haven’t had to come up with any words of wisdom for this year’s graduation class.

That is true whether that would have been high school, college, or post-graduate degree holders.

What can you say about planning for the future when the future is so unknown?

Of course, it’s always been that way. It’s just the coronavirus has exposed the flawed thinking many of us have engaged in over the years.

Never have the words of James 4:13-15 looked more prophetic: “Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go into this city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit,’ whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? It is just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that’” (MEV, emphasis added).

This chapter is the one our pastor preached his final sermon of 2019, looking ahead to the new year. Considering what has happened since then, he looks like a genius.

I especially appreciate the comment he made about the two mindsets James was discussing in his letter.

The wrong mindset will produce bad things and the right mindset will produce good things, he said.

“He’s saying to trust in the Lord,” our pastor said. “Give it to the Lord as you plan 2020. Your lists are not the problem. The problem is thinking you’re going to do it independently. God may take you home tomorrow.”

Plenty of Surprises

Coronavirus lockdownWhile that hasn’t happened, the year has brought plenty of other surprises. They included a mysterious bout with fatigue and stress that lasted for the first six weeks of the lockdown phase of life.

Fortunately, that turned out to be a physical situation, one remedied by a good chiropractic adjustment May 1.

Still, my income picture has resembled the Cyclone roller coaster at Coney Island. The biggest dip came in April, when revenue shrank to about half of March before it headed back up in May.

June appeared like it would back down slightly, until a good-sized job came through and boosted it above May.

Looking into the rest of the summer, who knows? I’ve given up predicting what will happen. As the Word says, “You do not know what will happen tomorrow.”

That’s may be the only thing this year’s graduates can take to the bank.

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