First Lady Laura Bush recalls one overnight visit with her husband in the home of his parents, the former President and Mrs. Bush. "George woke up at 6 A.M. as usual and went downstairs to get a cup of coffee," Laura says. "And he sat down on the sofa with his parents and put his feet up. And all of a sudden, Barbara Bush yelled, 'Put your feet down!'
"George's dad replied, 'For goodness' sake, Barbara, he's the President of the United States.'
"And Barbara said, 'I don't care. I don't want his feet on my table.'"
The president promptly did as he was told, for as Mrs. Bush observes, "Even Presidents have to listen to their mothers."
(John McCaslin, The Washington Times "Inside the Beltway" 11-12-03)
Graduation ceremonies will soon happen in every city. Young people will celebrate achievements, and some will learn to appreciate the phrase, "by the skin of their teeth!" No matter. For all, it's a time of transition to bigger and better things.
A great many will exceed the doubts and fears of their parents and friends. They will go on to accomplish wonderful things. Even if they don't, most will settle into solid roles of good citizens, family men and women, and they will fill the job roles that keep our society moving. Yes, there will be some failures, and some who should have achieved great things never will. But, let's not focus there right now. Let's focus on the bigger picture of those who will take up their places in life and become responsible adults.
Today, we choose to honor them. We make a big deal out of things like graduations because they are true milestones in life. These students have achieved something worthy of our congratulations and celebrations. Whether they struggled to get here or thought it was a breeze, they are here. They will move on to further studies, or they will take up jobs. They will begin to put that education to the practical use of daily living. We honor them for what they have done, for the promise they show, for the potential they possess, for the knowledge and skills they have developed, and for reaching a very significant point in life. We're proud of every graduate!
Now, let's hope they learn the bigger lessons of life that will serve them well regardless of age. Learn how to return the favor of honoring others. It's a bigger deal than one might think. In all life, regardless where one goes, what job one has, how high one rises, the ability to honor others is one of the most important life skills a person will ever possess.
Honor your boss.
Honor your spouse.
Honor folks at church who have helped you more by their prayers than you know.
One of life's best lessons is recognizing all the people to whom you owe honor. Even if you become President of the United States, honor your mother and get your feet off her coffee table.
Render to all what is due them: tax to whom tax is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor (Romans 13:7 NASB).