Back in August 2010, I posted about the day my grandson left for college. Like many students entering college, this young man was stepping into an unknown and unpredictable world, but he did so with confidence and resilience. Today, we watched him walk across the stage to receive his Bachelor of Science degree. He was one of about 250 students to step up onto the stage, walk across in front of his peers and accept a diploma as the culmination for his efforts these last four years.
Looking back on what I wrote about him in 2010 as he embarked on this journey, I see that he has developed the self-discipline and maturity I figured would come over four years being in college and relatively “on his own.” He didn’t lack confidence in 2010, but today he has self-confidence as well as understanding.
Living in an off-campus apartment with three other men this year, he’s learned the importance of being less self-absorbed as well as being willing to tolerate the inconsiderate behavior of others. (He doesn’t necessarily like inconsiderate behavior, but he has learned to take it in stride. He’s not a mountains-out-of-molehills kind of guy.)
The picture above portrays a smiling young man. What you see in the picture tells so much about his vibrant personality; he’s outgoing and enjoys the blessings God has given him. One of his roommates has expressed anger (and resentment) because the roommate’s perception is that my grandson has had everything handed to him on a silver platter (i.e. his life has been smooth and uncomplicated). Of course, the roommate’s perception is absolutely false.
What strikes me is that my grandson’s approach to life has had more to do with his attitude than with his circumstances. (In my view, the roommate has misinterpreted this attitude, believing it to be the result of charmed circumstances.)
T___’s attitude is generally characterized by resilience in spite of disappointment, a refusal to stay down when knocked down. T___’s manner has always been to graciously and gratefully accept his situation and learn something from it. (Someday, I’ll write a post or two about the life obstacles he’s overcome and done so with grace.)
But this is not that post. Instead, today is a day to rejoice and honor a young man’s achievements. We’re proud of him! He worked hard, both at his academics and also at the part-time jobs he obtained to help fund his education. In his endeavors, he has learned something about God’s provision for his needs (as well as for some of his wants). He has developed more understanding about this world and his place in this world.
He doesn’t yet have a job, and this is going to be the next big thing. Whether he lands an entry position at a Fortune 500 firm or decides to take an ordinary job and seek additional education or degrees, he will tackle his work as one who strives for excellence. I suspect he will, like others in his family, prove to be a lifelong learner who treasures acquisition of knowledge … not because he wishes to impress others with his knowledge, but because the world God created is such a fascinating and wonderful place and learning more about this world expands our understanding of who God really is.
Congratulations, T___! As you begin this new adventure, please know we love you and pray the best for you everyday.