Don't let the title fool you, this column has nothing to do with senior citizens. Well, perhaps not literally.
I'm talking to the seniors who will be sporting the cap and gown at Spencer and surrounding high schools as you stroll through the halls one final time on the way to the graduation stage and all of you loved ones anxiously awaiting the special moment when you will be handed your diploma - ending one chapter on your life and beginning a much bigger one.
Many of you will head off to college. Some will stick closer to home, others will venture hours away from the comfort of the bed you've grown up in and the comforting arms of parents. There will be a degree of reluctance and excitement all at the same time.
Some of you will choose to go directly into the workforce, putting college off a while as you mull over the many directions tugging at your mind.
And a few will sign on to serve and defend this great country of ours.
All admirable choices based on what suits each of you best.
Just a few words of advice. As you move from high school student to college adult, I encourage you to remember the values you were brought up on as you go out into the world.
Remember to always honor you parents and treat them with respect. The advice they offer is with your best interest at heart whether or not you understand it at the time.
Listen twice as much as you speak. God gave you two ears, two eyes and one mouth. Use them in direct proportion.
Be a true friend. Do things for others just because, with no expectation of return or gain.
Love your neighbor as yourself. It's not always easy, but it's one of the two greatest commandments.
Read books that will feed your soul. The classics are wonderful, but I've never had cause to use Shakespeare once I left high school in the 27 years since I left. However, "A Better Way to Live" by Og Mandino, "The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership" by John Maxwell, "How to Win Friends and Influence People" by Dale Carnegie - those books I use every day as I work with others at work and home. Those are the true classics.
Understand that you can never be greater than your creator. There will be times in your life when the odds seem overwhelming or the task seems insurmountable. Remember that the strongest person makes his stand on their knees. Ask for help, ask for guidance - then sit back and listen. Remember the two ears/one mouth rule.
And always tell yourself, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."
Finally, be a good person and do the right thing. How will you know. That little voice in your head will keep you on watch. If it's telling you to curb your behavior, listen. Be a good person, do the right thing, and make your family and friends in Spencer proud of you as you grow to become the amazing gift of God, the child of the King, your were born to be.
Happy and safe graduation.