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Graduations and Dimly Lit Paths

Updated: Jun 3, 2023

When we graduate into a new chapter of life, we often celebrate with a spirit of accomplishment that is mildly tainted by the dangerous idea that our graduation has afforded us some superior level of wisdom. There is some truth in the idea that graduation is evidence that knowledge has increased, but it is by no means proof of superior wisdom. And it isn’t the graduation ceremony that has afforded us that. Instead, we received wisdom through the many struggles in which we did not quit. In fact, it is our experience of those struggles that gave us understanding, and understanding is an inseparable element of wisdom (Proverbs 24:3-5).

But we must be careful and recognize that our experiences, and our understandings are profoundly inferior if they are not informed by a high recognition of the sovereignty of God. At a graduation, any quality wisdom we have should allow us to see that the roads ahead of us are many, often crooked, and lead into areas so dimly lit by the feeble wisdom we actually possess that it makes our choices difficult, scary, and seemingly uncertain. But do not fret. There is no need to fear. The bible gives us a truth that overcomes the crooked uncertain roads that become visible at the end of an old chapter and the beginning of a new one. The highest quality wisdom is marked by a faith and submission that God is sovereign in our lives. The Psalmist tells us that we should not lean on our own earthly understanding, but instead submit all of our ways to him, and acknowledge him in every life domain. When we do that, he will make our paths straight (Psalm 3:5-6). He isn’t telling us to abandon our experiences and understandings. He is telling us to submit them to God and to become comfortable with God being the Lord over every life domain.

A wise person will not ask what lies around the bend in the path he’s on. He’ll ask if he’s on the path God wants him to be on. He will submit his marriage choices to the wisdom of God. He will submit his job choices to the wisdom of God. He will submit his money choices to the wisdom of God. His mind will be focused on seeking God’s wisdom for every life domain. And in that seeking, his paths will become straight, and his choices more clear. God will give him new wisdom. He will learn to trust God rather than immediate, raw experience (2 Corinthians 5:7).

You won’t always be able to see around the bend, but submitting your will to God’s, and getting his word into you will illuminate your path (Psalm 119:105).

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