The Dancing Puritan

Saturday, May 24, 2014

To Hannah Rhodes: With Great Honor

Hannah and Friends
Dear Hannah,

I "picked up" a digital dictionary and discovered that magna cum laude means, "with great honor." You can tell, since I had to look it up, that I did not graduate with such honor.

Just yesterday, it seems, we celebrated your high school graduation. In a room packed with family and friends, we remembered and we looked ahead. In the midst of a day, bustling with activity, we paused to reflect. We stopped, for just a moment, to dream.

Hannah with Dr. Haynes
Both were given awards on this day.
Fast-forward four years. Here we are on the morning of your graduation from Truett-McConnell College. Soon we will do our part, to fill the graduation hall. There will be many proud parents and not a few relieved students in that hall. It is a significant day. It is significant because you stayed the course for four years and finished your studies. But, today is about much more than getting a diploma. Today we will be able to say that Hannah Rhodes graduated magna cum laude. Yes, you graduate with great honor.

You may be surprised by what I am about to say, so hang on to your mortarboard (define mortarboard, without using Google, for an additional graduation gift). You, I pray, know that I love you. Did you also know that I admire you, am inspired by you, and would like to be a lot more like you? Though you are still so very young, you are an example to me. You are an example in the way that you joyfully serve others. I think of the many hours that you volunteer to help needy children. You are an inspiration in your ability to focus like a laser beam on whatever task that you are tackling. When you laugh with your sisters, enjoy time with your friends, play games with your sweet mama, teach The Gospel-Project to the students at our church, and play your guitar, you inspire me.

I want to be more like you. I want to serve as you serve, focus as you focus, laugh as you laugh, play as you play, and teach with the quality of love that you display. Your example of following Christ encourages me in my own walk with Jesus.

You are a beautiful daughter (thankfully you look almost exactly like your mother, instead of me). You will be honored today. I think that we glorify God when we honor those who are due honor (Romans 13:7). I am thankful that you will receive great honor today because you will take your honor and give glory to God.

Today when your mom, sisters, extended family, friends, and I hear the words, "Hannah Rhodes graduates magna cum laude" we will know the rest of the story. We will delight in your almost perfect GPA. However, we will most rejoice because God has chosen, in his great grace, to mold a beautiful young woman into a person that lives with one-single-passion, to give God alone the highest honor.

With much love and honor to a wonderful daughter (my little bear),