Is there a baccalaureate service in your hometown’s school district? Some places hold individual services at their church and this is good but I am blessed to live in a district that brings ALL their children together for this special event. All our churches are represented and participate to make this evening a success. In addition, and probably one of the biggest joys is the fact our collaborative service is held in our high school auditorium! Wow, this is a community working together for the betterment of their youth and society.
Our school superintendent, Mr. Bob Pritchard shared from his heart tonight. His message was directed to our graduates yet his words resonated with me. As I continued to listen to his message I decided to accept the challenge he presented to the graduating class.
After sharing the moment of his first prayer and the impact it had in his life he explained the prayer. The “Cadet’s Prayer” is a wealth of information and a great starting point when one might be facing death before old age, as most of our military have, are, and continue to do.
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O God, our Father, Thou Searcher of human hearts, help us to draw near to Thee in sincerity and truth. May our religion be filled with gladness and may our worship of Thee be natural.
Strengthen and increase our admiration for honest dealing and clean thinking, and suffer not our hatred of hypocrisy and pretence ever to diminish. Encourage us in our endeavor to live above the common level of life. Make us to choose the harder right instead of the easier wrong, and never to be content with a half truth when the whole can be won. Endow us with courage that is born of loyalty to all that is noble and worthy, that scorns to compromise with vice and injustice and knows no fear when truth and right are in jeopardy. Guard us against flippancy and irreverence in the sacred things of life. Grant us new ties of friendship and new opportunities of service. Kindle our hearts in fellowship with those of a cheerful countenance, and soften our hearts with sympathy for those who sorrow and suffer. Help us to maintain the honor of the Corps untarnished and unsullied and to show forth in our lives the ideals of West Point in doing our duty to Thee and to our Country. All of which we ask in the name of the Great Friend and Master of all.
Prayer from: http://www.usma.edu/chaplain/SitePages/Cadet%20Prayer.aspx
Out of this prayer developed an activity to guide Mr. Pritchard in his life. Its impact has been so significant; he encouraged the graduates to do this also. I decided to accept his challenge also. Of course, he didn’t call it a “challenge” but this was the way I heard it. What did he encourage them and challenge me to do?
Most successful businesses, schools, and organizations have something called a “mission statement” to guide them in their endeavors. Mr. Pritchard suggested each set aside some time (after graduation) and write out their mission statement for life. A statement to represent who and what is important to them and why they believe and do what they do. Wow, this is a challenge I plan to pray through and DO!
Okay, relax! The skinny on “writing a life mission statement” by Lisa M. Buske. Think about what is important to you and why. In 40 words or less, write it down.
Congratulations to our graduating seniors tomorrow night and a special thanks to our school-district pastor’s group for such a wonderful evening.