In this season of finishing up, of moving on, of celebrations and endings, a blessing for those whose service and work is coming to an end.
For the teacher, you have given much with your time, your energy, your insight, your creativity. You have listened and spoken and shaped. If you are weary, may you be strengthened. If you are discouraged, may you find peace. If you are asking questions without easy answers, may you discover a peace beyond your ability to understand. You have done well, not because your work has been perfect but because you have continued to show up – even when it was hard, dark, and impossible. May you be lifted with the courage to show up again.
For the graduate, whether you are transitioning from one classroom to another or from classroom to workplace, may you ever be a student of life, of people, and of the world around you. May your apprehension of the future melt into hope. May you make your choices from a place of truth and confidence, not from the shaky ground of fear. May you not be overwhelmed by too many options or underwhelmed by the lack of them. May you know your Father sees you and knows what you need.
For the parent, though your job is never finished, though you won’t get closure on the work you do or the love your pour out, may you breathe in a deep sigh of relief as you have kept kind company with your children through another year of their life transitions – through another school grade, from student to graduate, from single to married, from childless to expecting, from married to widow. As you watch and walk with them, may you be lifted in your spirit as you see them grow, trusting the details of their future to a known God. May you be one who receives the gifts your Father offers you in secret so that you may turn and offer those gifts to your children – the gift of love, the gift of presence, the gift of hope.
For the artist, the hardest part of your job is knowing when it’s finished. May you finally release your work with confidence even though you know there is more you could have done. May you reject the temptation to wait for qualification, certification, permission or perfection, working instead from your smallness, your weakness, and your pain. Let yourself be human, as it’s your humanity that touches the soul, not your expertise.
For the coach, you have led your team to some victories and through some losses, but the greatest win is the vision you cast for their future. You have taught them not to give up, to always support each other, and to work hard even if the results aren’t what they hope for.
For the performer as you finally debut your hard work on the stage, may you remember to always be who you really are and not who they think you are. May you have a strong sense of yourself as one who is grounded in Christ even as you may question your ability, your debut, or your final performance. May you celebrate the accomplishments of others in the spotlight even as you gracefully receive their support of you.
For the traveler as you finish up your time in one place and prepare to move on to another, may the road before you reveal her holy secrets even as you treasure up the stories from your past. May you walk with sure feet and steady gaze to tomorrow even as you hold the memory gifts from yesterday. May you move forward with confidence, courage, and peace, knowing you will never walk alone.
For the youth leader as you watch another group of students leave your ministry, as you face a summer filled with activities and plans, may you find a quiet place within you and hear the voice of the One who has gone before you, whispering well-done words you may never hear from those who have been in your care. You have walked the hard roads with our students, roads their parents may know nothing about. You are on the relational front-lines and your work is important.
For all the brave and weary finishers, may you remember to celebrate the endings even if they aren’t what you hoped for, knowing this isn’t truly the end of the story this part of your life is telling but simply a continuation. May you find the time to receive the rest you need so that you may have the courage and energy to move on.
And may grace surprise you kindly along the way.