The Realities of Graduation By Matt Crickard

As we head into another graduation season, I recall younger days, simpler times, and an anticipation of the unknown. I read an article earlier this week about the uselessness of commencement speeches; after all – who can remember theirs? These days I’m doing good to remember the day I graduated high school (17 years ago now). However, I recently shared with co-workers a commencement speech that I wish I would have heard back then, because it would have stuck with me.


As a rebellious teen, I had no idea where life or the Lord would take me. I didn’t realize back then just how little I knew or understood of the world, or just how much I needed Jesus in my life to guide me through all of life’s hills and valleys. It was only through much stubbornness and hardship that I found my way to Jesus.


In today’s societal fairness doctrine, I feel that the value of hardship has been swept aside. Some of the most valuable lessons learned in my life have come out of going through absolutely horrible times. Looking back – I understand that Jesus will use even our most terrible circumstances to teach us and put us back/keep us on track. Two passages of scripture come to mind:


  1. Matthew 5:45 …”for he makes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.”
  2. Hebrews 12:6 “For whom the Lord loves he chastens…”

Please enjoy this excerpted commencement speech from US Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts given in 2017.


“Now, commencement speakers will typically also wish you good luck and extend good wishes to you. I will not do that, and I will tell you why: From time to time, in the years to come, I hope you will be treated unfairly, so that you will come to know the value of justice. I hope that you will suffer betrayal because that will teach you the importance of loyalty. Sorry to say, but I hope you will be lonely from time to time, so that you don’t take friends for granted. I wish you bad luck again, from time to time, so that you will be conscious of the role of chance in life and understand that your success is not completely deserved and the failure of others is not completely deserved either. And when you lose, as you will from time to time, I hope every now and then, your opponent will gloat over your failure. It is a way for you to understand the importance of sportsmanship. I hope you will be ignored, so you know the importance of listening to others, and I hope you will have just enough pain to learn compassion. Whether I wish these things or not, they’re going to happen. And whether you benefit from them or not will depend on your ability to see the message in your misfortunes. You are privileged. My advice is, don’t act like it.”

2 Responses to “The Realities of Graduation By Matt Crickard”

  1. Nick Lovelace says:

    Good read!!!

  2. Kim Griffith says:

    Awesome write-up!! I hope many will read this and absorb the deepness of it. I loved it.

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