Monday, May 16, 2011

Graduation And Road Trip


How I spent the last four years of my life...this weekend, my wife, my oldest son and I, traveled to Virginia for my oldest child's graduation for Virginia State University. Of course, no child is to remain "in college;" the goal is always to get out and 'find their way in the world.' But I had become so accustomed to this 14 hour drive across country twice a year, that the awe of the occasion went unnoticed. And yet, Sunday morning, sitting in a stadium filled with graduates, their families, friends and well wishers, my vision became clear.

The school had as it's commencement speaker, Susan Taylor, former editor for Essence magazine. Growing up, this magazine was a regular part of the reading in my home, so I often read her editorial titled "In the Spirit." I knew the depth of her written thoughts and insights. But hearing her speak - if there were clouds in my thinking, she helped to move them away. Her central theme was focusing on the bigger picture of one's life.

Admittedly, though I believe I'm a profound thinker, and think deeply about my role in the world, this weekend peeled back a layer of my own "stinking thinking." It was the road trip, the graduation, and being outside my usual comfort zone that helped me realize how far I need to go. Like my daughter, who has to grow and take her place in the world, I realize this weekend that I have a ways to go and that I wont get there without effort and dedication. Those are "words," and sometimes we take for granted that WORD has power. My challenge is to me only; if you find a word for you, grab it: speak the word and then live as though it has occurred!