How quickly the years have rushed by since the first day I saw you as you entered my world. It seems like yesterday that you would gleefully run into our home to spend time at Grandma and Grandpa’s house. Now, almost suddenly, you are graduating from High School. Today you walked through our front door, tall and handsome, after parking your red Mustang in the driveway. Wasn’t it a red wagon just a few days ago?
I can’t express how proud I am of the way you have lived through your growing-up years. You have excelled in school, in sports and still remained humble and committed to your family. Today you enter into a new arena of life where the challenges will be greater than ever before. New choices and harder decisions will have to be made that will affect your entire future.
I wish I could offer you the kind of America I experienced when I was your age. But things are different now—very different. The American dream is more elusive. You will be challenged every day to maintain your honesty, integrity and the values you now hold. The temptations for wrong are multiplying each year and they will confront you every day of your life.
Though nothing is perfect in this world, there still is hope. More than ever before there is a need for men and women to be people of principle and integrity. It may appear that getting ahead in this world demands following the value system of the majority. But that is not the path you will take. Success is not measured by what you can get but by what you can give to make this world a better place.
I want you to know that there is a God who has His eyes upon you this very day. He has a plan already designed just for you. It’s not essential to know what that plan is this very moment, but I assure you, it is good. As you follow a lifestyle of making right choices and holding on to what you know is right, God will guide you one step at a time.
Remember: greatness is being a good American. Greatness is developing a strong family. Greatness is doing for others as you would have them do for you. Greatness is standing true to your values regardless of what everyone else is doing. And most of all, greatness is having the smile of God upon your life.
I can assure you, my Grandson, God is real. I have experienced His love and mercy for many years. He has never been wrong, never let me down and never disappointed me. Though I have failed more times than I want to count, He has always been there to give me a new start.
So today, take a giant leap into your future. And take my Friend Jesus with you and live life to the full.
With deep pride and affection,