IMG_2015Slowly but excitedly, guests began to arrive.  This was a very special day for our graduates.  Today was the day of their Graduation Chapel.  Something in my chest felt odd; it was a bit of pressure.

Their official commencement takes place in Dallas.  But, here in Houston is where families reside, their friends are here and their church family is here. Most of their support team will not be able to make the trek to the main campus.  This is our purpose: to give families and friends a reason to celebrate together.

I love graduation events.  There is such a celebration of the human effort and the counting of blessings from the Lord.  When graduates gather to commemorate their achievements there is everlasting relief.  But, besides relief there is an unmistakable note of rejoicing.  Those two features are joined by an intense resolve to enter into their new life of ministry and discover all that God wants them to do.  That chest feeling was still there and seemingly growing.

There were times when students thought it was too hard.  They were demoralized.  It would have been easy to quit and they almost signed the papers to end their enrollment.  However, their presence at the graduation chapel proved that they stuck it out.  Now, there is a huge smile on their faces.  It was genuine.

This was an informal chapel.  We had cheering.  Laughter was encouraged.  No spontaneous eruption for a loved ones was frowned upon. In fact it was encouraged.  A spike inside of my chest reminded me that it was there.

The music was angelic. Each spoken word was challenging.  The awards were stimulating.  People were enjoying themselves.

IMG_2018Applause was common.  Agreement from special people reverberated throughout the auditorium.  Prayers went beyond the rafters and reached the throne of God.

After the program was over the fun was about ready to commence.  People followed the wonderful fragrance.  Caters were putting the final touches on the table fare.  The barbeque meatballs were smelling very good and making us all very hungry.

Now, the real party let everyone be a part of the celebration.  Old and young, locals and relatives from afar joined in the rousing sounds of a room filled with people all talking at once.  It was electrifying.  Kudos to Dr. Bailey, Willie, Evetta, Leonetta, Sherry and a host of student volunteers!

This was a joyous exultation of sheer happiness.  We were all glad to be here.  We were especially glad for our graduates who deserved the occasion to honor their years of faithful work.

photo credit: brucefong cellphone photography