Sunday Thoughts


by Al Sturgeon
(published each week in Desperate Houseflies)


Considering my daughter is a part of this year’s festivities, I have particular interest in the Class of 2005. And since I’m not on the graduation program, I must resort to this venue to share my words of wisdom. So here they are: On graduation night, only one moment matters. The rest (if you’ll pardon the pun) is merely pomp and circumstance.

Believe it or not, this one important moment is not when you walk across the stage and receive your diploma. Nor is it when the class collectively moves their tassels to the other (I forget which) side. Instead, it is at the end of the show when, in one grand final act of uniformity, the class yells and tosses their cheap cardboard hats high in the air. That, class, is important.

Your school years have been one big exercise in uniformity, you see. Learn the same facts, color in the lines, take the same tests, and single-file lines, all of which are necessary and generally good. But it has to end. And on graduation night, when the hats fly, is when it does. One last time, class, all together now… Woo hoo!!!!!!!!!!!

And as the hats descend in a hundred different directions, so the class disintegrates as well. Some go to work, some join the armed forces, and some disperse to a variety of college or technical training programs. No more uniformity. Instant diversity.

With this in mind, this preacher has one bit of advice: Watch your step. For you see, three popular career counselors appear quickly and most of your classmates will follow one of them. “Money” is a very popular choice, mostly because this is often the path parents and teachers encourage graduates to follow. But don’t listen. “Fun” is another popular choice, fueled by our very nature, but he is not a trustworthy guide either. “Fame” is a third seductive counselor that some others choose, but she is just a mirage. She never satisfies your soul.

So I ask you to choose God. You need to remember that neither your country nor your school, neither your church nor your parents really made you (although you may have learned in biology class that some had important roles to play). God made you. God made you for a purpose. You are now free to pursue that purpose. But the choice of doing so is now up to you.

You will need to listen to others along this path, but some you will need to ignore. Your litmus test is simple: Listen to those who lead you toward the reason God made you. It won’t be simple to tell the difference. Still, set your sails in that direction.

So yell at the top of your lungs and throw that hat with all your might on graduation night. It is your grand final act of uniformity. And when you look toward the sky with a smile on your face and excitement in your heart, don’t stop looking in that direction.


3 Responses to “Sunday Thoughts”

  1. Joe Longhorn Says:


    Again, you’ve given us some great stuff. I’m going to pass this on to all the graduates that I know this year.

    I just wish that I had listened to the similar advice given to me when I graduated. That “fun” path is soooo seductive. It took me about ten years to realize that it wasn’t leading anywhere I wanted to go.

    I sure appreciate your thoughts and your voice, brother.

  2. dagwud Says:


    This was a great thought. I’m going to use it as a springboard for my challenge to our graduates on Sunday night.

  3. Kim Jones Says:

    Hi Al, I am planning on sending a copy of this in all the graduation cards that I send out this year–some wise words that all graduates should have a chance to read.

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