One year ago today I posted this after attending this program where my grandson was graduating. Today we are on the way to visit him as a Marine at Fort Lee. I’m proud of him and thankful that God has blessed our country with young men and women like him who are willing to serve in the military. Don’t be shy. Tell service members thank you for serving.
Does anyone remember the Windows operating system that greeted you with the message “Where do you want to go today” trickling across the screen upon boot up? That message no longer appears and I’m pretty sure we no longer ‘boot up’ either. We restart! New operating system, new terminology, new ways to do the same things, and more ways to do new things. Every day, something new.
Last night I attended the high school awards program for graduating seniors at our local high school. Our school is relatively small compared to many, but talk about potential! The printed program listed three pages of scholarships and monetary awards for the college bound and even a couple for a kid whose goal it was to work in a profession that didn’t require higher education. There were recognitions of graduates entering the military. Last night was a celebration leading up to the ultimate celebration that flips the tassel from kid to adult in one easy step. Then what?
‘Where do you want to go today?’ will be on their minds every morning for a long time. How about the rest of us? Where do I want to go today? Where do you want to go? We joke about the little poem “I owe, I owe, so off to work I go” because it’s partially true. Way back in an Organizational Behavior class I was taking, I learned about intrinsic motivation and extrinsic motivation. In case you’re wondering: Extrinsic motivation means the reason you work is to do more things and have better toys. Extrinsic motivation says “Money doesn’t buy happiness; it just lets you look for it in a lot more places.” Intrinsic motivation means the task itself and the environment you’re in brings you pleasure and that motivates you. Intrinsic motivation says, ”Find a job you love and you will never work a day in your life.”
Ecclesiastes 3:22 says “So I saw that there is nothing better for a person than to enjoy their work, because that is their lot. For who can bring them to see what will happen after them?” Not all work is pleasant; in fact take any day of the week and there will be frustrations, miscommunication, conflicts, and 12 hours of work to fit into 8 hours of time. Some have a long commute, others travel away from home when they’d rather be at home. Real life is like that. Somehow we ended up where we are.
To the graduating seniors and to each of us, I would say this. Where do you want to go today? If every day we find ourselves on the same path and aren’t enjoying any of it, maybe it’s the wrong path. A few years ago a graduating senior pondered her future I remember repeating to her the same words I’d heard my dad tell kids in our youth group back in the 1960s. “If you get up each day and do what God wants you to do for that day and repeat that every day of your life, you will end up living a lifetime inside God’s will.” It’s a daily commitment. We all get off track. Some of us are so off track at times it takes the equipment of a surveyor to guide us back.
Where do you want to go today? I want to enter my mission field, equipped with wisdom, understanding, and joy. James 1:5 “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” I want to live like Philippians 2 “Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
That’s where I want to go today. Good morning, world!