Class of 2018, you've made it. You're going to have parties and cake, and one night you'll put on a silly cap and gown and get a diploma (remember, reach with the left, shake with the right). Whether you're finishing high school, college, grad school, or something else, this is a day to celebrate. You've reached an important milestone, one that will help propel you forward as you pursue God's calling on your life.
Studies show that after high school graduation, 1/3 of you will never pick up a book again. If you're graduating college, it goes up to over 40%. Don't let this happen to you. Don't stop learning after your graduation. Don't stop soaking truth into your mind and letting it change your heart and life. If you're going to read anything, I want to make three strong recommendations for you.
Don't Waste Your Life - I put this first because so many of us simply go through the motions and fail to see how our lives can be leveraged for the sake of the Kingdom. We're not gripped by the glory of God and it does nothing to change us to push us towards fully pursuing Christ with everything. If you're familiar, this is the book that talks about shells. Guys. I live in God's Waiting Room. And it breaks my heart to see millions of people perfectly content to play shuffleboard and drink martinis at lunch. Don't waste your life.
"God created us to live with a single passion to joyfully display his supreme excellence in all the spheres of life. The wasted life is the life without this passion. God calls us to pray and think and dream and plan and work not to be made much of, but to make much of him in every part of our lives."
Just Do Something - Most of us spend our time after graduation asking the important question "What is God's will for my life?" And in response to that question we expect a Magic 8 Ball to appear or an airplane banner to fly overhead and tell us what God's special plan is for us. But what if that's not how it works? What if the call to pursuing God's will in your life is to do something, which is to pursue adulthood. DeYoung makes a striking observation that fewer people are making the transition to adulthood and instead delaying adolescence. This book is a great help to understand how to know what God wants you to do with your life, so you don't waste it.
Habits for Our Holiness - I'm thrilled to recommend this, Phil is someone I've gotten to know recently as a fellow pastor in our area. And this book is such a helpful reminder of building solid habits into our lives that push us to holiness. If you go to a Major League Baseball game, you'll still see professionals taking batting practice, fielding ground balls, and playing long toss just like they have since Little League. Why? Fundamentals matter. For us as Christians, the spiritual disciplines are the fundamental exercises of our faith. So we never mature beyond needing to spend time in the Word, spend time in prayer, be faithful in worship, refresh through rest, engage in meaningful fellowship, and more.
What other books would you recommend to the Class of 2018?
Scott M. Douglas
A blog about leadership and the lasting legacy of family ministry.