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This week I had the honor of attending a college graduation. With joy-filled hearts that could not be diminished by darkening clouds, wind, and the threat of lighting, we all proudly claimed our section of the outdoor stadium bleachers. The moment the band started playing the familiar graduation tune we all stood up and started cheering so loud it became difficult to hear the music. The roar of the crowd increased each time a family recognized their soon-to-be graduate in the sea of processing black gowns.
Reading the sky, the university’s president went up to the microphone and changed the course of the ceremony by skipping all customary formalities and proceeding to the heart of our attendance—the conferring of degrees. As he invited the first row to rise he reassessed the increasing rain, wind and lightening, asked the 1,100 graduates to stand en masse, quickly conferred all degrees and urged everyone to run.
Although the process was less than ideal, all 1,100 students did officially graduate. After the storm passed, families found their way back to the field to take pictures with their graduates. Laughter and congratulations and pride filled the air--the storm did not dampen the spirit of the day. With soaking wet clothes, gowns, and hair, smiles could not have been brighter in each photo. Together graduates, families and friends discovered humor, resilience, a good story to tell and the freedom of a few extra hours to spend together. And graduates left the stadium field with one more life lesson: sometimes the signs we read around us will lead us to change plans.
Discernment requires flexibility and an openness to read the signs along the way. Midcourse adjustments may even lead to new discoveries.
How are you dealing with the storms of life that can be part of discernment?