Archived Story

Powerful potential in graduates

Published 8:34pm Friday, May 16, 2014

In early spring Jaleah brought a little cabbage plant home from school.
It was a fine and healthy looking plant at the time, but after a few days of neglect it deteriorated terribly.
When it had lost almost all chances of surviving, they brought it to Papa to transplant to the garden.
I have been known to use duct tape and super glue to fix a lot of things over the years, but even those trusted repair items were useless to reverse what Sandra and Jaleah had allowed to happen to that tender little cabbage plant.
I did not give up on it, but  even though I consider myself to be a fair gardener, I was not sure that I could come through for Jaleah on this one.  Amazingly, after a little water and attention, hope returned and in a few days Jaleah and I transplanted the cabbage to my garden.
As the weeks progressed, the little plant thrived even as we endured extremely heavy rains and exceptionally cold weather.  Jaleah was proud to drop by from time to time to see how her cabbage was doing (even though she left the tending up to Papa.)
Then last week harvest time came.
That tiny plant that was struggling to survive matured into an enormous cabbage that was so heavy that Jaleah was struggling to hold it up while I took pictures of it.
What had appeared as a hopeless case contained powerful potential that finally came to fruition.
As we are well aware, this is that special time of year when many of our young people are graduating from various educational institutions.
For some, they might have faced seasons when they, like that cabbage plant, appeared to have a questionable likelihood for success.  But through the encouragement of family, friends and teachers who saw the potential that might have appeared dim at times, they made it.
For that, they are all to be commended for their current accomplishments, and encouraged to reach for even higher goals in the future.
A few days ago I had the grand privilege of attending the graduation ceremony of the local kindergarten class as Madeline and all her classmates were in the spotlight of honor.
It was a beautiful ceremony attended by a capacity crowd.
All the graduates looked like little scholars in their caps and gowns as they proudly marched forward to receive their certificates.
Even though that experience is very early in the academic career of those young people, it is a great reminder of the powerful potential that resides in each of them that will become reality as they persevere through the challenges of the years ahead.
To help ensure that they reach those higher goals in life, we must never give up on them no matter what the circumstances, and we must always be there for them to offer guidance, correction and support.
I encourage every graduate, no matter what endeavors you pursue, to put into practice these words recorded in Proverbs 4:25-27, “Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you.  Make level paths for your feet and take only ways that are firm.
“Do not swerve to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.”

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