Dear High School Graduate,
This is it. You’ve graduated! Congratulations!
In a few short months (or weeks), you’ll be starting college. You’ll be in a new place, a new city or a new state. Maybe there’s a church there, maybe there isn’t.
For the first time, you will be 100% in control of your church attendance. Mom can nag all she wants, but at this point, she’s not around to make you go.
College presents all kinds of semi-legitimate excuses to skip out. There’s that “exam” you have to “study” for. Never mind that you spent all of Friday night and Saturday night in places you shouldn’t be… There’s the long drive to liturgy if you’re in a town without a church or maybe you’ll decide the nearest priest is too _____ (whatever your chosen pet peeve).
Despite all that, I am happy that you are going away to college.
I’m serious. I know many well-meaning Copts will tell you or your parents that they should keep you close at hand, that they shouldn’t let you out of the house or out of the city. “Stay home,” they’ll all say.
Call me the village crazy lady.
You are now 18 years old. All the initial, involuntary seeds have been planted. We showed you the way, we lit your path, we led you to water. Any further spiritual growth from this point forward is on YOU.
You will have to make the effort to attend Bible studies. You will have to make the effort to find a ride (or drive yourself) to Liturgy. You will have to turn down the girl/guy, turn down the booze, and turn down the party so you can get your beauty sleep before Sunday Liturgy.
Maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll make a series of bad decisions. Maybe you’ll wander from the straight and narrow.
You’re leaving the nest, and we pray that we’ve done enough. We pray that you remember to reach for God in thick and thin. We pray you remember His grace, His mercy, His forgiveness, and, above all, His bottomless love.
And we pray you come to us after your college experience better, brighter, stronger. We’ll be waiting to welcome you with open arms.
Come bearing gifts. Come with fresh ideas and perspective. Keep God and your church in your heart and mind, and when it’s time to find home, you know the way.
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