I love this time of year! It's a very busy time but it is always a great memory making time full of reminiscing and fun! A typical May in youth ministry (at least in my experience) brings Youth Sunday, Graduate Sunday, end of the year youth group celebrations, lock-ins, and more!
This past Sunday at Zion was no exception! It was Graduate Sunday! Our high school and college graduates were honored in worship! Also, the graduates gathered for breakfast. As is tradition at Zion, each of the high school grads was presented with a quilt by their parents. All year long, the parents have been meeting with some wonderfully gifted church members who are great seamstresses! They've been making these handsome creations that the students will take with them as they begin the next chapter of their lives! It was quite nice to see the beautiful quilts that have been made! And as I stood back watching the presentations of the quilts, I couldn't help but notice how much each quilt "looked like" the youth to whom it was being presented! What do you think??
Also, during the breakfast, the students had the pleasure of hearing from church member, Britt Collins. She encouraged and I thought she gave some great advice to the graduates as they begin this new chapter in their lives. I was awestruck to hear Britt share some very personal stories about her young adult life. Britt has persevered some tremendously unfortunate circumstances including the death of her first husband and then her younger sister. So she was quite qualified to offer advice to our students when it comes to the importance of persevering in "life." She used a great example of a time in her childhood when she hit a bump/rock in the road and fell off her bike. She had been down this particular hill many times and knew how to navigate the bumps and turns on the way down. But on this day, she made one tiny mistake because of a rock in the road and ended up crashing into a neighbor's mailbox. She vowed never to ride her bike again. Britt compared this experience to the "bumps" and "bruises" that life sometimes has to offer. She encouraged the graduates to be aware of the bumps/rocks on life’s journey that will throw each of us off the bike from time to time.
Britt also shared that this past Thanksgiving, she was remembering her sister's favorite holiday as she and her family spent this time together at Fripp Island. Britt decided to explore the island one afternoon but the only mode of transportation available was via bike. Many, many years after the tumble off the bike in her neighborhood, Britt hopped on the bike and began exploring. Britt shared that the foundations our parents and our church have set for us are much like getting on a bike ... one never forgets how to ride the bike! It is a great lesson and metaphor for us all and, especially, for our graduates! Thank you, Britt, for your inspiring words!