This week Markus graduated from Credo Christian High School. As parents we are thankful to God that he could attend the graduation ceremony and most of the other events associated with graduation. With COVID rules still in place only students and staff were able to attend the ceremony so we gathered with our family as well as Markus’ cousin Eric’s family to watch the ceremony online.
At moments such as this we try to prepare ourselves for the various emotions that are sure to begin flowing. While we don’t overthink these situations, we did anticipate experiencing a few moving moments when Markus went up to be handed his graduation diploma and obligatory book that all the students receive. But alas, things proceeded quite differently. Principal Kent Dykstra gave the opening remarks and began by immediately reaching under the podium and pulling out an “On the Mark Maintenance” ball cap and placing it on his head. Needless to say we couldn’t hold it together.
Principal Dykstra’s speech intertwined Markus’ company name with three quick thoughts: a) Marks in school – “You are not defined by your marks, but what you did to earn them.”; b) On the mark get set go! – the need for Christians to always be ready to run the race; and, c) Missing the mark – while we fail to target sin and remove it from our lives, we serve Jesus who is the only person who is truly on the mark. It was an encouraging message, and we thank Kent for recognizing Markus and our current trial in a God-glorifying way. We truly appreciate the godly leadership and wisdom of the staff of CCHS in assisting us to train Markus (and the rest of our children) in living a life of responsible stewardship in God’s kingdom.
Graduation. Where to from here? This struck us as we took part in a really neat presentation that one of the parents organized for the graduates. Every set of parents was given a few lines from Dr. Seuss’ book, “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” and simple instructions for how to video yourself reading the lines. The end result was fantastic! You can view it here if you’re interested. Every graduate has plans to go somewhere. For many it will be post-secondary schooling. For others they will enter the workforce. And for more yet, it will be a combination of both. Markus has big plans to go places too. But knowing that those plans are on hold while he battles a life-threatening cancer puts many things in perspective. The text Markus chose to be read as he received his diploma was Psalm 46:1, “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” Something many Christians have heard, but not all have had to live out so poignantly.
It is our heartfelt prayer that Markus has many more years in this life, to go many places, before going to that great and glorious place that all those will go who have a relationship with Jesus.
“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
--Jesus (John 14:6)