Encouragement for our high school graduates

I’d like to again thank the Lacombe Express for giving the Lacombe and District Ministerial Association (LDMA) a voice

LEON H. JOHNSTON

I’d like to again thank the Lacombe Express for giving the Lacombe and District Ministerial Association (LDMA) a voice in the community through this ‘Faith Column’.

One of our top ministry priorities for this year has been communication, and this column is a primary way we’ve sought to fulfill this priority.

Each contributor has his/her unique interests and calling, and we let each person decide what he/she will write as it relates to faith. Having said that, my hope for this column is that it be a source of Good News—a place of encouragement and inspiration.

With that in mind, I’d like to speak to the high school graduates. First, I’d like to congratulate them. Earning a diploma is a major accomplishment – perhaps your greatest accomplishment thus far!

And this community celebrates your achievement.

High school graduation is a significant milestone in your life. So, this is an ideal time for you to be a bit reflective as you look back at the past, as you celebrate the present, and as you look to the future.

As you look back on your school experience, who has helped you? Surely there is someone who has helped you with your homework, or who has spoken an encouraging word along the way. Someone who has given you hope when you really needed it.

Whoever that person is, I encourage you to say thank you before the end of the summer. I don’t know if you consider yourself religious or not. But there’s a growing awareness that we are spiritual beings.

Accordingly, I believe there’s another ‘person’ who has also helped you on your school journey, perhaps helped you more than you know: God.

The Old Testament psalmist was very aware of this. In one of my favourite psalms, Psalm 121, he asks himself: “Where does my help come from?”

The psalmist was a poet, and as you know from your classes, poets tend to be reflective.

And the psalmist is no different in this regard. I don’t know what happened to lead the psalmist to ask this question. All we know for sure is this is a ‘Psalm of Ascent’ which means he was on a journey. And as he looked up to the mountain, he became reflective and he wondered who has helped him in this life.

He realized that it was God, the, “Maker of heaven and earth,” who had helped him on his journey. And I’d like to suggest to you that God has also helped you on your journey.

You of all people know how hard it is to graduate from high school. You had to work for it. But there’s also a sense that you didn’t do it on your own.

That you received help from parents, teachers and friends…and God. And the good news is that God will continue to help you.

Ask him to guide you as you look to the future. And trust him to help you.

As the writer of Psalm 121 promises: “The Lord will keep you from all harm – he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.”

Rev. Leon H. Johnston is the pastor of Wolf Creek Community Church.

IN GOOD FAITH