This past weekend I had the privilege to spend the evening at a Graduation party for a young lady who has family in the church I pastor. We will call her Lauren (because that’s her name).
Just before the meal, Lauren’s mom wanted to share a few thoughts about her daughter on this big day after graduating from Samford University. Mom, as best she could began to describe how proud she was of her daughter’s accomplishment and how proud she was of her as a young woman. It was incredibly moving to hear the words of affirmation that she shared. Then when she finished we thought we would pray and eat. But then one after another more and more powerful words were spoken over Lauren’s life.
Uncle Chris, Pastor Andy, Aunt Lori and her sister Mallory had a few thoughts to share. They talked about Lauren’s leadership in their family. They noted how she had poured into their children and set an example for them to follow. She had listened and prayed for them. By the time is was over, we were all needing tissue.
I can’t help but think of a couple of things looking back on this special evening.
1. I was reminded again of the importance of surrounding my children with positive influences and role models.
I looked around the room that night and one of the reasons Lauren has turned into the young lady she now is, has a lot to do with the fact that she has been surrounded by positive influences. Her grandparents are wonderful people. Her mom and dad have covered her with love and support. Her relatives have watched her grow up and have been there through the process.
The people in the room that night have played a major role in her life and they have impacted her in so many ways. They no doubt have helped shaped her destiny.
2. Live your life considering the fact that others are watching.
Lauren is the oldest child in all the families. She embraced her role as the oldest and it seems she realized she her life would be under the microscope. Her sister, cousins and others would be watching. She was surrounded.
I think that is a powerful thing. How important is it to live conscious of the impact we have on other lives? Some may say that is a lot of pressure. I can appreciate that argument. However, accountability is a powerful thing and unfortunately a missing element for so many. And I don’t think you have to live a perfect life. You just have to know when you make mistakes and you have to respond correctly to them.
On our way home, my wife mentioned the beautiful atmosphere that we enjoyed at the party. Surrounded by family and friends that were loving and living in a special moment. Surrounded by God’s goodness, His favor and His grace. Surrounded by love and encouragement. Definitely surrounded.