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By Pastor Paul Gauche

Today’s Word: ‘Commencement’ as in… graduation.

Well, it’s that time again. Commencement exercises are commencing. Graduates are graduating. And speeches are being crafted by speakers who understand that they have one shot, and one shot only to capture, then hold the attention of scores people who are either baking in the sun, huddling under umbrellas, or sitting on unforgiving bleachers and in squeaky metal chairs with only one thing on their mind: The After Party. Undeterred, commencement speakers embrace the challenge to motivate and inspire graduates to put at least the same amount energy into creating the plans for the great work they hope to accomplish in the future as they did in designing the strategies that brought them to this moment in their life.

It’s that time again. But isn’t it always that time? Graduations are happening for all of us every day. We are always commencing from one thing to the next. Seth Godin writes, “Commencement is today. Actually, it’s every day. We talk about graduation as if it’s the end of some journey, but it’s the beginning of one. The chance to see the world differently, to contribute, to understand.” Did you catch that? “The chance to see the world differently, to contribute, to understand.” That’s worth graduating toward! That’s the work we must commence every day; embracing opportunities to see the world differently, exploring new and effective ways to contribute, and doing what we must to understand someone else’s perspective.

We can do this by asking some important questions. What are you ending that makes room for a new beginning? What have you learned that can enrich the life of someone else today? What are you good at that can be leveraged to bring greater good to those with whom you live, work and play?

The Apostle Paul, ‘speaking’ to the always-commencing, ever-graduating folks in Philippi wrote this: “There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears.”


Paul Gauche is the Pastor of Life Transitions at Prince of Peace. His posts are part of his #100days50words project, where be blogs about a different word each day. You can follow his project on Instagram (@pgauche), or on his blog, Thriving Rhythms.

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