All the Cheers

2014 Graduates, here’s to you!

Cheers to you, Cheers

to the culmination of a chapter that has defined you long enough,
to the end of all nighters and ceaseless caffeine,
to the chest-tightening finals,
and the papers that just need 200 more words

to the many conversations about the world,
to the hours of scholarship and research,
to the months of searching for a major or writing a dissertation,
and the self-doubt that never quite leaves

to the new creases in your forehead
where your brow has been furrowed,
to the years where you sought to find
that which makes you come alive

Cheers to you, Cheers

to the silencing of your inner critic
as you receive that dean’s diploma,
to the fear that asks: ‘what now?’
to the new knowledge you now hold

to the professors who have given you
scholarship from their fields
so you may not forget that
an unexamined life is not worth living

to your people who have seen you through,
to your significant other who knows the
hours of study and tears of stress,
to the many prayers for God’s mercy and peace

Cheers to you, Cheers

to the new season that you enter.
Do not welcome this season with fear,
Do not call trepidation a friend,
Do not become crippled with doubt

Ask what makes you come alive,
Ask who is your best self,
Be fiercely protective of your self worth,
Guard it and give it away to no one

Do not assume that you can do this alone,
Embrace the interconnectedness of the earth and humanity,
Know that love is clay that we were molded from
And it will continue to shape you

Cheers to you, Cheers

As you welcome learning as a close friend
and you aren’t afraid of doubt in your faith journey,
For doubt keeps you asking questions
And you should never stop asking good questions

Do not turn a blind eye to injustice
Fight it.
Do not let philanthropy fool you into forgetting
the everyday need of your neighbor

Like it or not, the new season is here,
but the same problems exist,
So take your new found knowledge
and work to solve those problems

Cheers to you, Cheers

Know this is not all or nothing,
it’s just another piece of your story
waiting for you to embrace it,
fully present, fully alive

God is in you, above you,
behind you, underneath you,
and ahead of you. Fear not.

Here’s to calloused hands,
tired backs, mindful presence,
and loud laughter, and
revolutionary ideas.

You did it! You.

Cheers to you, Cheers!

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