Let me say it again because I’m sure by now you haven’t heard this word enough: Congratulations! You’ve also probably gotten an earful of advice by now, so I’ll keep mine short and sweet. From someone just one half-step ahead of you on the road of life, if I could encourage you to do just one thing, it would be this: prayerfully follow your dreams.
I think we complicate life WAY too much. We make our futures like this enigmatic vaporous amorphous terrifying thing, when it’s actually simple. God is God is He not? He’s in control. Don’t expect some divine blueprint for your life to fall from Heaven into your be-robed lap, my graduating friend. If you’re waiting around for that you’ll wait around forever. Just trust that He’s sovereign, pray a lot, and look for His glory instead of your own. Then, with your heart right and your eyes on Him, do what you want. When your heart is submitted to His will and your life lived in obedience to His commands, He will take your efforts and turn them into something beautiful. He will guide your steps, when you lean on His understanding instead of yours. He won’t leave you to muddle it out on your own.
I believe that God gives us our individual gifts and interests for a reason. So what is it you love? What are you passionate about? What lights you up? What could you talk about forever and never get tired of? What can you not imagine life without? Pursue it. Take risks, make phone calls, read everything, sign up for classes and lessons and internships, get on a plane or a bus or a boat for crying out loud, blaze a trail, work your butt off. Get outside of what other people expect of you, what makes the most money, what is prestigious or normal or society-approved, and certainly what is easy.
Someday you may have to provide for a family, someday you may need to settle down. But that day is not today. Today, explore and grow and make some embarrassing mistakes and see where God directs your future. I’m not saying to throw caution to the wind–we have to be wise and listen to advice and make good choices–but don’t let the fear of failure be the only thing stopping you from stepping out in faith. Staying close to our homes and comfort zones isn’t a Christian virtue. What are we afraid of anyway? God will never let us down.
William Carey–who led many souls to Christ as a missionary to India in a day when church leaders told him he had no business doing so because if God wanted to save the heathen He’d do it without his help–once said, “Expect great things from God, attempt great things for God.” As you prayerfully, passionately pursue what God has laid on your heart, He will direct your life and lead you where He wants you to be.
There. Stump speech = over.