May 20, 2007
Introduction: Martin Luther King, Jr.'s famous words describe how most students feel at this time of the year, especially graduates. "Free at last, free at last, thank God Almighty we're free at last." The dirty little secret is that many teachers feel the same way. School's out. Even those of you who really like school are glad for some time off. Tests, studies, and assignments can pile up toward the end of the year. It's good to have that behind you for a while.
For our graduates, school is really over. You've been looking for this day for a long time. When you started kindergarten way back when, this day seemed a long way off. Now, it's here. "Free at last, thank God Almighty, we're free at last!"
Parents feel the same way. Whether it's junior high, high school or college graduation, this day marks a big change. In big and small ways, childhood is in the past. That little one you held in your arms only yesterday has grown up. You will shed some tears over the past. But beneath the nostalgia, there is a feeling of relief. You may not want your kids to know it, but deep down inside some of you identify with the middle-aged mother who said, "They say life begins at forty. That's not true. Life begins when the dog dies and the last kid moves out. That's when life begins!" "Free at last, thank God Almighty, we're free at last!"
Freedom is a funny thing. It's often elusive. Sometimes it's not nearly all that it's cracked up to be. Remember the Prodigal Son? The young man in Jesus' parable thought he had it made when he finally got out from under his father's thumb. He was finally going to do what he wanted! Soon he was more than willing to return home to be his father's servant. When you get really hungry, you often change your mind about a lot of things.
At other times, bondage, or the lack of freedom, comes in disguise. Those who think they are the freest may not be n ...
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