On Keeping it Simple
To the Class of Centerville H.S. 2012 Baccalaureate message May 31, 2012
We shall never know all the good that a simple smile can do. ~ Mother Teressa
“If one’s life is simple, contentment has to come. Simplicity is extremely important for happiness. Having few desires, feeling satisfied with what you have, is very vital: satisfaction with just enough food, clothing, and shelter to protect yourself from the elements. And finally, there is an intense delight in abandoning faulty states of mind and in cultivating helpful ones in meditation.” Dalia Lama
Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated. ~Confucius
How many things are there which I do not want. ~Socrates
“While the impostor draws his identity from past achievements and the adulation of others, the true self claims identity in its belovedness. We encounter God in the ordinariness of life: not in the search for spiritual highs and extraordinary, mystical experiences but in our simple presence in life.” ~Brennan Manning
“Truth is ever to be found in the simplicity, and not in the multiplicity and confusion of things.” ~Isaac Newton
“There is no greatness where there is not simplicity, goodness, and truth” ~Tolstoy
“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” ~Apple Corp
It is an honor to be with all tonight. To the graduates, congratulations, you made it through– To all the mothers and fathers and families represented… the future looks brighter… bless you all…
and so goes this little diddy called
On keeping it Simple:
To the class of 2012 there is no doubt that there have been many times over the past 4 years that you have asked yourself—
Why am I doing this?
Or maybe, what is the point of this assignment?
Or why did I put so much time into this or that—
Why so much angst over this person or that person
Or maybe, at the end of a few days over these past 4 years you just plain asked—Really?
Your generation is known for being the generation right smack in the middle of “the social media” frenzy—
No one in the history of mankind has ever been so close to someone else miles and miles away.
We get to know every minute what someone is doing
We get to post every event, every moment if we so chose,
And we have the priviledge of viewing every moment of someone’s mood, attitude, happen stance, new shirt, new relationship and on and on
Have you happened upon facebook and thought to yourself or maybe even said outloud—“you really posted that?” I didn’t need to know that—
But tonight, this moment in time, this time together is a spiritual moment—the baccalaureate “a farewell address in the form of a sermon delivered to a graduating class”
and so in honor to you—I’m going to keep this little sermon simple—
There are many causes
There are many needs in this world
There are many many hurting people
There are many things broken,
There are many questions before each of you that may remain
I want to remind you all, that all that is wrong, all that is hard, all that is needing attention by every graduating class over the ages still needs just that – attention… is still broken, is still in need of repair, is still in need of this class to stand up and go beyond running so fast just to be
to one day retire
To one day be “all that”
To one day be “fulfilled”
To one day be—what ever
In keeping it simple
I asked myself in thinking of this moment, thinking of you all,
My 20 years + working with students—
Thinking about, remembering the hundreds of students that I havs
Seen over the years that have passed through the halls of church,
School—in and out of my life, what possibly could I offer you?
You see, I have seen your bright eyes for the future—every year
Not much has changed—
You all have great ambition
You all have much to accomplish
You all have much to enjoy
you all will face incredible days ahead
Some will be filled with much satisfaction
Many days will be the fulfillment of your greatest expectations
And some days ahead you will face
Consider the next 60-80 years of your life—
Keep it simple—
Please consider this
From a man that was once your age
From a man that has had many ups and many downs
From a man that has had to dream many new dreams
As I watched some of my dreams dashed to the rocks on the shores
From a man that lived in complications brought on by my own doing
From a man that did not heed the words of those that cared enough to warn me – to keep it simple
From a man that has been on the journey of life
From a man that has learned that the journey of life is made simple
By a life of simple faith
From a man that is still learning to keep it simple—
I go back the age old question—
On keeping it simple
What matters? What matters the most? What is the most important thing?
To all of you tonight– what ever faith you may be of
The question—is still — how to keep it simple?
I go back to the Scriptures for a brief moment tonight-
The place where I find solace, instruction, truth—
I share this with you so that you may see the value in Faith
The simplicity of faith
The question proposed to Jesus 2000 years ago according to the Scriptures—
A group of people like you and me asked—
Teacher they said<
What is the greatest commandment in the Law?
In other words
Teacher—can you make this faith thing simple for us?
Teacher can you hone down all the stuff and get real?
Teacher can you tell us the most important thing?
And His response–
‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
You see students,
On keeping it simple—
On living this life with simplicity
Love God with all you have—your heart, soul and mind
And if you want to make a difference in this world
If you want to do something huge
If you aspire to make a difference
if you desire to go beyond
Collecting a degree
Collecting a paycheck
Love people—love your neighbor as yourself
On keeping it simple students
If you remember anything
May God enrich your life as you seek to love God with all your heart, soul and mind
And as you love your neighbor as yourself.