I can’t believe I said NO.
When I was a senior in high school I was one of three students that were asked to consider being the commencement speaker. The administration asked two people but only needed one. I declined even though I knew exactly what I would have spoken on. I could picture myself on the platform. I knew the exact stories, Scripture and key points I would make. I could even hear myself speaking the words to the crowd and sharing the Gospel with them.
Even in high school, I was no stranger to public speaking. I did it often in speech classes, drama class, school plays and youth group. It wasn’t that I was scared or intimidated. I should have said YES. I don’t know why I didn’t.
But, alas, I didn’t.
Instead I deferred to the other student. Inside I was hoping she would defer back to me. Then I would rebuff and point back to her. Then she would customarily shift it back my direction and THEN I would say yes. You know the drill. The same thing happens between multiple parties at a restaurant when the bill comes!
On that note…have you ever had the bill come and you said “Oh, let me get this” only to have the other party immediately say, “OK, thanks.” Isn’t there something in you that mutters “Hey, you broke the bill paying rules!”
Anyway…I should have said yes. Now, over 23 years later I still think about it. I thought about it when I was back in my home town of Osceola, Wisconsin last week for a wedding. As I was driving around my old stomping grounds, I noticed that my high school had been torn down and replaced with some condos, but I still thought about it. I thought about it again this morning during my devotional time in the Bible. Our Life Journal Reading Plan brought me to the book of the Bible that I knew many years ago I was to speak at my graduation ceremony…but I didn’t.
I want to encourage those that are graduating this month to live with as few regrets as possible. Few spiritual regrets. Few relational regrets. Few financial regrets. Few emotional regrets.
Oh, and by the way…here is the text of Scripture I was going to talk from (but I didn’t) in my “Graduation Speech Never Heard”…
Remember your Creator in the days of your youth,
before the days of trouble come and the years approach when you will say, “I find no pleasure in them.”