The Georgian writer Flannery O'Connor is one of my favorite authors. My particular favorite title of one of her short stories is The Life You Save May Be Your Own. It's a good motto for graduates. Many of our students are graduating this week, or have recently graduated. I am aware (all too keenly with a new college graduate in the house!) the anxieties and pressures young grads feel. Where am I going to get a job? What do I do now? What if I still don't know what I want to do?
Maybe a story about two grads will help. Gary Inrig tells in one of his books about two students who graduated together from Chicago-Kent College of Law. One of the two, a blind man named Overton, was the highest ranking student. When he received the honor he insisted that half the credit go to his friend, Kaspryzak. They met one another at the college when the armless Mr. Kazpryzak guided the blind Mr. Overton down a flight of stairs. The acquaintance developed into a deep friendship and example of interdependence. The blind man carried the books which the armless man read aloud in their common study. The limitations of one were compensated for by the other. After graduation they decided to practice law together. Indeed, the life you save may be your own.
There are few certainties in life. We can't know for sure the career opportunities that will come along, but if the life of faith offers any guarantees it is that God often opens doors of opportunity as we look for ways to serve others. As we take the focus off of our needs, and look to ways we can help others in their need, God not only reduces our anxiety and gives peace but also creates a future we wouldn't have discovered otherwise.
Oh, and this truth isn't limited to grads! Now that's good news.