“Just remember to keep the main thing, the main thing,” said Marty Cruze, pastor at Caneyville Baptist Church at the Baccalaureate for graduating seniors on Wednesday night at the First Baptist Church in Leitchfield. Cruze’s message focused on keeping God the most important part of senior’s lives as they graduate from high school to make their own way in life.
Though attendance was not required, a good number of seniors arrived at First Baptist Church to parade through the gymnasium in their blue caps and gowns with orange stoles in front of their proud families and community.
Once the soon-to-be graduates took their seats, a video called Passing the Test played, congratulating the seniors and emphasized perseverance despite obstacles.
“You’re going to make it, there are great things awaiting for you,” Brandon Holeman, pastor of Youth and Children at First Baptist Church reassured the seniors as he welcomed those who came to support the students.
The message was presented after music and a prayer for graduates by Jerry Dunaway, Jr., pastor at Crosspoint. A video called Graduation: Faith, Hope and Love played as well, encouraging students to have faith, hope, and love in order to survive and thrive.
Cruze kept his message lighthearted, congratulating the soon-to-be graduates on getting through high school.
“You’re so young you can chart yourselves a course. You have so many opportunities to do what you want in life,” Cruze said.
His message concentrated on Matthew 6:33-34, encouraging the seniors there to grow in their faith as they begin to live their lives after high school.
“You have been given a great responsibility to be faithful,” Cruze said, “You need to know what you believe so that when you’re challenged you know why you believe what you believe.”
He encouraged students to find a place to worship and congregate with other believers, whether they left Grayson County or stayed.
“Not because of your Momma and Daddy, but because of your faith,” Cruze said.
Cruze told seniors about his grandparents who would give their grandchildren two dollar bills for birthday presents. When he was 17-years-old, he wrote on two of these bills, keeping them in his wallet for 30 years. When he lost his wallet on a fishing trip, the loss of these bills upset him more than anything else.
“It was not about the two bills, but who it came from,” Cruze said.
He then asked everyone in the audience to give the seniors a one dollar bill. Cruze told the students to write their plan for the future on one corner of their bill and “His Kingdom, His Righteousness,” with the date underneath on the other corner.
He asked the seniors to keep it as long as they could in their wallets or purses as a reminder for the future to focus on God.
“You’ve graduated, everything’s going to be easy right? No, it’s going to be rough, but God will be with you,” Cruze said.
He left the audience inspired, telling students in the future, to look at their dollar and see what they wanted or expected in their future. Cruze told students to use the dollar as a way to see how close they are to getting what they want.
“You might do something even greater,” Cruze said.
After the message, Be Thou My Vision was sung before Doug King, pastor at First Baptist Church, invited everyone to enjoy cake and punch in the fellowship hall after the soon-to-be graduates filed out the way they came.
Now the graduates look forward to graduation Saturday, where they will walk the line and start a new life as adults. Whether they go to college or start their career, may they make their own path in life a great one, with a focus on what is truly important, and with no regrets.