By: Dr. Jacquelyn Simmons
Dear our Triune God (Father), Son (Jesus Christ) and Holy Spirit,
Thank You for the movement of the innumerable graduation tassels from right to left all over this, your created world. It signified steps forward toward the completion of goals previously set in the lives of your graduates. Their goals are too innumerable for me to count, but, by your grace and mercy, “they made it!” “They graduated!!!!” Some of them were not expected to “make it” but, they did! There were others, to their utter dismay and disappointed love ones, did not “make it” and are experiencing great depression in feelings of acute failure. But, by your never ending encouragement and guidance, those who are familiar with you will never “give up” and will continue with new assurance and vitality to “press forward” until they reach their goal in their futures as determined by you. They may also realize that they were headed in the wrong direction and feel blessed at being given the opportunity to review their chosen goals and later discover that they should have pursued something else which would be more fulfilling and profitable for them.
This writer can testify that the goals heartedly embraced by me for my future, did not reflect the best goals you had already set for me. Thank you for lovingly turning me around in order to guide me in the direction you had planned. After all, I have learned, sometimes in heart-wrenching ways “You always have a plan” and bless us by making sure that we attain it. Sometimes, attaining them may be inconvenient and heart-wrenching, but you have blessed us to carry out the plan you “carved out” for us before you lovingly placed us in our mothers’ wombs and dad’s loins.
In the year 1947, you blessed me and many of my classmates by permitting the turning of our tassels during the end of our graduation exercise which herald the completion of our assigned work at Manual High School, located in Denver, Colorado. But, the “crowning” of it all, was the baccalaureate services held at our church, New Hope Baptist. Oh, what indescribable beauty to note the various tassels you had committed to be turned on caps, and the variety of colors of robes which indicated a variety of graduates hailed from various schools throughout the city and other places as well.
The late Henry “boss Carroll”, first principal of Carroll High School located here in Monroe, Louisiana, always held Baccalaureate Services in the school’s auditorium prior to graduation exercises. It was required that all faculty members and graduating seniors were fully clad in caps and gowns and in attendance.
Our Triune God, it gladdens my heart to note that several churches here in Monroe held Baccalaureate Services and praying that others will do the same, also. They actually could hold combined services for graduates.
Thank you for your never-ending presence, guidance, and your encouraging the turning of your children’s tassels from right to left. In Jesus’ name, your servants prays. Amen.
P.S. Churches of Jesus Christ shame on us for the “casting out” of prayers in public schools. Shame! Shame!! Shame!!!