Joshua, today the world is in front of you son. Life has never been more exciting and scary at the same time. Life is waiting, a grand adventure of epic-ness is calling your name. Every step, every hurdle , every success and yes even every failure you've experienced over the last 12 years has led to this one big moment in your life. Joshua, you're a high school graduate, you've done it, made it across that great big stage and grasped your diploma! Now where do you go from here? Well that solely depends on you, your dreams, desires and your determination. As one of your childhood books says, “You're off to Great Places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, So... get on your way!” ― Dr. Seuss, Oh, The Places You'll Go!
You've faced many mountains already, overcoming so much, battling difficulty, disabilities which largely go unseen. Despite the teasing by some, the whispers of others and the personal struggle spiritually, emotionally, mentally and physically you've been undefeated. The day you held your diploma in your hands, I cried, hearing you proclaim no matter your future accomplishments, how this one piece of paper would always hold meaning in your life because you fought so hard for it. For so many this day is just a given, a right of passage but for you son, this was a hard fought, well deserved and significant moment. In the words of the great Dr. Seuss, “Congratulations! Today is your day. You're off to Great Places! You're off and away!” (Oh, The Places You'll Go!)
As you go out into the great big world Joshua, listen to my council son, don't be discouraged, and never listen to the naysayers. Those who step in to trip you, just waiting to see you fail. You have talent and abilities inside you that are unique. Don't let the world dull your shine, never forget you were born to succeed. You are individually a masterpiece of His hand. No one else comes close nor can they be you, even if they try. Many will try to imitate you, while others may work against you. It's up to you son to dismiss those attempts. What you allow will take up residence inside you. Be confident in who you are, a man of God, walk in His ways and you will find by doing so no one will be able to rise against you and win. Again I remind you of what wise Dr. Seuss said, “You'll get mixed up, of course, as you already know. You'll get mixed up with many strange birds as you go. So be sure when you step. Step with care and great tact and remember that Life's a Great Balancing Act. Just never forget to be dexterous and deft. And never mix up your right foot with your left.”
Will life be easy, oh no, in fact it will be hard, very hard indeed but the reward will be great kiddo. Some people will come into your life only to leave, while others will become part of your foundation, but all part of your story. Allow each relationship to teach you while learning to let go as you move through each stage of life. Never forget to allow yourself to struggle, to fail, to fall. to learn, to overcome and to always experience all life has to offer. Don't regret your path, look to your mountain with determination and excitement then begin your climb. Not every road will lead to happiness, in fact you may feel very alone along some paths. Just don't give up, never surrender your calling. You may be afraid, and loneliness may invade BUT when those times arrive just remember and never forget just how far you've already come. When you feel alone, fearing what's just around the corner think about old Dr. Seuss and what he had to say, “And when you're alone there's a very good chance you'll meet things that scare you right out of your pants. There are some, down the road between hither and yon, that can scare you so much you won't want to go on.” But of course you will go on!
Some days may be slow, attaining the goal may seem far away and you may feel as if you can't make it. But let me assure you Joshua, you will make it, you will rise up and you will grab the golden ring! Just when you think it's over, you have nothing more to give, take a deep breath and take one more swing. I see greatness in you my son, a willingness to overcome, to fight like no one else. The prize is yours, life has many wonderful opportunities waiting just ahead for you to discover Joshua. Just remember nothing worth having comes easy. You may have to scale the same mountain many times, but once you reach the top, nothing will hold you back. I believe in you kiddo, and I am willing to bet many more along your path will too. I know you will be strong, courageous and do just as Dr. Seuss says, “Onward up many a frightening creek, though your arms may get sore and your sneakers may leak. Oh! The places you will go!”
So today I offer Life Lesson # 40 son... be a mover of mountains, don't let the negativity of this world and her crowds sway you from your goals. Go left, go right, turn around and try again. Forgive freely, set boundaries and love unconditionally. Don't allow hurts, pain or self-doubt to take away your gains. Believe in yourself as much as I do, be unshakable in your self-confidence as Christ is in you Joshua. As the great Dr. Seuss says, “Kid, you'll move mountains.” Sure, I could go on and on, offer you pages and pages of advice, write and speak to you for hours and hours Joshua but I think once again Dr. Seuss says it best. “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go...” (Oh, The Places You'll Go!)
I love you Joshua Caleb, you are and will always be a true and amazing blessing. I'm so proud of you baby, of where you are right now seeing how far you have come. I seriously can't wait to see the places you are going to go!