Tuesday, June 3, 2014

The High Point of Life

What would you say the high point of your life has been? Maybe it's your wedding day, or the birth of a child. Or maybe winning an award or promotion you worked hard for. Before you keep reading, take a moment to think about it and keep that event in mind.

My High Point

For me, I'd have to say the high point of life has been graduating from college. It was such an emotional day, the culmination of four years of hard work, not just with my studies but also building a life to call my own and cultivating friendships that were supportive and true.

My heart was full on my graduation day. I was ready to go out into the world and build on what I had learned. I had a job lined up far, far away, with just a few weeks to move before starting my new life.

My family was there to support me, and my parents were beaming with pride. I was also very sad to leave behind my friends and the beautiful familiarity of Duke's campus. After packing up the two cars with all my stuff, my family piled in and drove 1,000 miles away. I cried during that car ride...a lot. I clutched to my chest the stuffed animal my boyfriend had given me a few months back and let the weigh of these life changes hit me.

Graduation gave me time to reflect on how far I had come. College was tough. Classes were hard; I was far away from family and friends; new friends were good or bad influences; dance rehearsals, sorority date functions, Catholic events, and weekend parties competed for my time. All-in-all, I grew as a person. For me, graduation didn't just mean that I had completed the course requirements. It also meant I completed four years of constantly pushing myself to learn who I was and grow towards who I wanted to be. I was proud of my accomplishments and grateful for the opportunities Duke had given me.

Jesus' High Point

If we were to ask Jesus what the high point of His life was, what do you think He would say? I'd venture to guess that His answer would be His crucifixion. That day we commemorate each year on Good Friday wasn't the most pleasant...actually, it was the most excruciating. By our human standards, it would be a day we'd want to forget, not hold up as the high point of life.

So I had to ask myself what criteria really makes something a high point.

Jesus' whole life was leading up to those tough hours. The cross was the culmination of all His teaching and the fulfillment of the prophesies. It was a huge trial, one that He didn't shy away from but endured with love.

What makes me see the crucifixion as the high point is the fact that Jesus was living his God-given purpose. He showed the world love in a way no one else could. He was uniquely Himself and used His unique talents/skills/situation to serve God.

Avignon, France

Evaluating our High Point

In light of Jesus' crucifixion, I want us to take a look at our own high point. The reason my graduation was so important to me wasn't the diploma; it was the preparation for life. I had worked hard to set myself up for the future, whatever that ended up being.

My high point and Jesus' both came with trials. Breaking out of our comfort zone may bring pain and tears, but it pushes us to become more uniquely ourselves and grow towards our purpose.

I know my high point will change later in life. College graduation was just a significant stepping stone. As I work with God to understand who He created me to be, I anticipate growing towards the purpose He intended for my life and encountering trials to help me get there. Those trials will be a blessing, whether I recognize it or not. College definitely was. My future path may not be easy, but it will push me to become the person God designed me to be.

Why is the event you chose as the high point of your life? Does it tie back to your purpose? And what does that mean for your life going forward?