This is the season of new beginnings of all sorts and shapes. Graduation ceremonies, summer jobs, moving into a new home—all of these signal new beginnings and looking forward to the life ahead. My eldest graduated from high school last year and, following a year at college, is commencing on a summer job far from home.
Commencements have a bittersweet sense about them. Beginning something new often means ending something old. Entering a new life is foreign, and some of us have a hard time saying good-bye to what was old and familiar.
I officiated at a funeral recently, where the one whose life we were celebrating had been long and good. His family was grateful for all he had been and done for them. As they gathered in celebration, they hugged and squealed in delight at seeing one another after a long absence. People came from far flung distances to come and celebrate a life well lived, and to send him on his way as he commences his eternal life with God.
Commencement is often misconstrued as graduating, as leaving something behind, but it is more about what we lean into in the future. That is what matters.
What are you commencing? What transitions are you celebrating and marking with your life? What is new and exciting that you are about to begin? Each commencement brings new challenges and new opportunities. Are you ready to begin?