Words to the Wise
A saint's (and a poet's) advice on graduation day.
In 1 Timothy 4:12, Saint Paul wrote, "Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity."
But what exactly does that verse from the Bible mean?
It means that even though you're young,
you really have the right
to show our culture how to live.
Paul's words are hardly trite.
They're timeless thoughts. They're right on track.
His words define your task
to live your lives in such a way
your friends are sure to ask
the reason for the hope you claim
in life beyond the grave
or better yet why when some fought
you didn't, but forgave.
Paul calls you to resist the crowd
and how they look at sex.
To guard your thoughts, affections too
by being circumspect.
And watch your mouth. Don't shade the truth.
When angry, do not swear.
Don't gossip or tell dirty jokes.
No biggie? Au contraire!
That little rudder tween your teeth
can steer a battleship.
It is a spark that starts a fire
which through a forest rips.
Paul cautioned his friend Timothy
to flee temptation's pull.
He knew that if you flirt with sin,
you'll fail. And that's no bull!
Be quick to trust God's promises.
Be slow to doubt His heart.
The one who takes God at His Word,
will win because he's smart.
It all comes down to loving God
in big and little ways.
In how a person acts at school
or how that person plays.
To love the Lord means being kind
and putting others first
by canceling what you had planned
when someone's dreams have burst.
To love the Lord means hanging in
when others tend to bail.
It means to worship Him each week
so your faith won't grow stale.
There're two more ways your life in Christ
can remain fresh and pure.
Each day converse with Him through prayer
and read His Word for sure.
Well there you have it, graduate.
Take Saint Paul at his word.
You're not too young to live your faith
and model what you've heard.
Today is but a milepost.
Your journey's far from done.
In many ways, young friend of mine,
it's only just begun.
Making the Grade
A year-end salute to teachers.
You stood before our class of kids
and gave your heart and soul.
You saw potential in each mind
and aimed to fill it full.
You didn't teach your lesson plans.
You taught those at their desks.
You saw each one as on a trail
that leads to great success.
Your name has been misunderstood.
A teacher? Yes it's true.
Teachers aren't just talking heads
Especially ones like you.
You made your subjects come alive.
They jumped right off the page.
You said that knowledge is a friend
no matter what our age.
You truly are remarkable.
You're also underpaid.
For what it's worth (forgive the pun),
you've really made the grade.
your age says LIVE and learn.
You've chosen to be retired
But as you leave think back on those
Whose lives you have inspired.