Eccles. 3:1 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
I am writing this minister’s message with our high school graduates in mind. However, the truths that I couch in my thoughts holds true for every stage of life.
The wise man Solomon, emphasizes throughout the book of Ecclesiastes that life holds no place where the satisfaction of “having arrived” exists. He repeats that many of the things that we value in life are but vanity and vexation to the soul. Be careful not to misinterpret what I’m saying; I, in no way am saying that there isn’t the need to aspire toward your goal. What I am saying is that one needs to begin their journey in the full awareness that life is ever moving; ever changing; ever challenging. Knowing this prepares one for the victories and the defeats which will surely be experienced along the way. It is just as important for an individual to know how to fail as it is for them to know how to succeed.
Leaving the shelter and protection of familiar surroundings will be the first challenge to be conquered. Yes, you will enter a world that will now be subject to your choices; to your judgments. But this world will also be less forgiving and the consequences of your choices and judgments will belong to you. The acquaintances that you make, the actions that you take will impact the course that you’re on.
While the unknown may seem a bit frightening at this point I would like to assure you that you are at the thrash hold of the most exciting time of your life. The world will soon be opening up to you. The wise man Solomon confirms this assertion in verses 10 and 11 “ I have seen the travail, which God hath given to the sons of men to be exercised in it.
 He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.
Solomon goes on to advise us to work and enjoy the fruits of our labor. While we should always seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, that does not preclude one from taking pleasure in the gifts that God bestows on us as we honestly labor for those things which brings a righteous pleasure in our career.
Eccles. 3:12-14  I know that there is no good in them, but for a man to rejoice, and to do good in his life.  And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it is the gift of God.  I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it: and God doeth it, that men should fear before him.
As you pack up to leave for the next phase of your life, your packing is not complete until you have made provisions to take God with you wherever you go.
May you ever be in the shadow of God’s love and protection.
Nathaniel Grimes, Minister, Fowlkes Street Church of Christ.