Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Reflections of A Simmons Graduate

By: Patricia Miles

To the 2009 graduating class of Simmons College of Kentucky I would like to offer my congratulations for this momentous achievement. We all have traveled different roads to arrive at this moment today. Many among us thought that this day would never come, and there are still some of us wondering how we got here. I will not begin to believe that I know all of your struggles to get to this point today, but I firmly believe there is one thing we all share, perseverance. Psalms 37:7 describes perseverance as to rest in the Lord and wait patiently in Him; and to do this when the answer you are asking for does not come at once.

What does it really mean to persevere? We see how Psalms describes it, but this word has a different meaning to each of us. When you are struggling for that "C" in the most important class of the term; that class you did not think you would pass, that was perseverance.

When you continue on to class even when you had no idea where the tuition payment was coming from, that was perseverance.

When others did not believe you would make this far, when you wanted to give up because it was too hard and you kept on going, that was perseverance.

When we are seeking answers to those trying situations, we must do as it says in James 1:6, "ask in faith, nothing wavering." Whether you realize it or not, it was your faith that got you here today. The Lord, recognizing your faith, allowed you to persevere through your struggles.

I know this day exemplifies a great accomplishment for all of us, but do not be tricked into believing that this is an ending. We must take our lessons of perseverance and apply them to the challenges we face tomorrow. That challenge may be the next degree or that all important project for your community. We must do it as it says in Mark 11:24, "When we pray, believe that we receive them, and we shall have them." As our experience here has shown us, all prayers sent up today are not always answered tomorrow, so we must persevere.

In closing, I would like to charge each and every one of you to do as Solomon did, rather than pray for riches and long life; pray for wisdom and realize that wisdom is not attained after a season but over a lifetime.

Thank you and congratulations.

Patricia Miles, Class Salutatorian,
Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies
Simmons College of Kentucky
Commencement Exercises, May 18, 2009
West Chestnut Street Baptist Church

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