Graduation 2011 – Valedictorian Speech

Fellow Students, teachers, family and friends. I’d like to thank you all for coming here to help celebrate the accomplishments of the LHCS class of 2011. We have all had a great experience at LHCS and there are many important things that we have learned.

When many of us began our adventure at LHCS, we were just five years old. We were the youngest and smallest kids in the school, but that didn’t stop us from learning! Today we are a lot bigger, a lot more athletic and a lot wiser than we were nine years ago. Some might also say that we are a lot more trouble. We are ready to take on high school armed with the lessons we learned at LHCS.

One lesson we learned is about our relationship with God. As kindergarteners we were always taught Bible stories and lessons. Now Bible class is no longer just about stories, but about developing a personal faith relationship with Jesus Christ. This transition is very important for all Christians. After all these years, we realize that God is with us no matter what. Even when we sin, God is still there ready to forgive us. What I have realized during my time at LHCS is that our relationship with God is a great blessing but also a great responsibility in that God expects something back from us. Although nobody is perfect, God still wants us to try to do our best. We are called to worship him and devote time to him daily. God also wants us to love our neighbour. In Matthew 25 Jesus says ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ Our neighbour is anyone who needs a helping hand. Maybe that is somebody from your church, your street or a friend.

Another lesson we have all learned is about friendship. Being a friend isn’t easy. Relationships require constant attention in order to remain strong. Even a small argument, for example, can end a friendship if left unresolved. We’ve learned, however, that the pros of having a friend heavily outweigh the cons. Also, many friends come and go. Not all your friends are going to live close to you forever. But with email and social networking friends can keep in touch and support each other even if they move away. Perhaps the biggest thing we learned is that friends change. Most have us have had many different friends over our time at LHCS. As we change and grow, so do our friends.

Everyone has something they are good at. God gave us all unique gifts and talents and he wants us to share them. That’s another lesson we learned at LHCS. Finding our gifts isn’t always easy. A lot of time and energy must be devoted to truly discover and develop our own unique gifts. Wishing to have somebody else’s gifts won’t get you anywhere. We each have our own gifts and God expects us to use them. Sometimes taking a risk is required in order to discover new gifts. The important thing is that we use everything God gave us to the best of our abilities.

At LHCS we were encouraged year after year to share our gifts. Whether it was a school play, a concert, a sports team, a math test, or even the fine arts festival, our gifts were nurtured and celebrated at LHCS. Gifts are wasted if we do not use them. A woman named Erma Bombeck once said, “When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, ‘I used everything you gave me’.” This is something that I hope everybody here will remember. Imagine what each we could accomplish if we devote everything God gave us to what we do each day. The possibilities are endless.

I encourage you all to plan for the future. You never know what will await you as you continue your journey through life. But never forget that God has a plan for you. He watches over you and cares for you. Remember the things you were taught at LHCS and put them into practice. Thank you to all the teachers and parents for teaching us these valuable lessons. Remember to always keep a healthy relationship with Jesus, be a good friend and keep sharing your gifts. Even though it may be hard at times it is definitely worth it. Congratulations on graduating from Grade 8 at LHCS. I wish you all God’s blessing wherever life may take you. Thank you.

By Nathan W.

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