Read Clint Decker’s May HOPE FOR TODAY Blog.  Read it here, go to the blog.

During May over six million students are expected to graduate from high schools, colleges and universities. These teenagers and twenty-somethings will reach a milestone and have a new beginning for themselves. If you know of a graduate here are a few pieces of commencement wisdom to pass along.

Rejoice and celebrate your achievement. Years have been invested to get to this point. Do not let it slide by without enjoying the moment. Celebrate!

Resolve to never give up. There were challenges in reaching this day and there will be challenges tomorrow. Researchers say that there will be over 20% of high school students and over 40% of college and university students who will never reach graduation. You did. You overcame.

Recall the people that helped you make it. No man is an island to himself. Thank the people who helped you along the way. Henry Ward Beecher once said, “Gratitude is the fairest blossom, which springs from the soul.”

Release the heartache connected with the journey. Your celebration may be bittersweet. Maybe a loved one or close friend has passed away and their absence is heart-wrenching. Maybe there is some relationship conflict sucking the joy out of the air. When you receive that diploma or degree, vow to release the pain and step into the future.

Remember Almighty God. A wise King once said, “Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth” (Ecclesiastes 12:1). It is very easy to forget God when we are young. A sense of adventure, a desire to question and the journey towards independence can all lead there. Yet, He has a way of keeping us in-check. It is often found in those times of adversity when our determination and ability cannot fix the situation. We realize we are at the mercy of time, chance or others. God uses these moments to teach us that we need the intervention of someone outside of ourselves – Him.

As you reach this milestone, be resolved to depend upon God with all your heart. He is real and trustworthy. May you become a follower of Jesus, God’s only Son, and may He bring you hope for today and your future.