You are listening to:ROOTS TO GROW, WINGS TO FLY

It has been said that there are two lasting things that we give our children; one is roots and the other is wings. Good deep roots make a good foundation upon which they build their lives. Wings give freedom and the courage to fly, to soar on the winds of life.

Several years ago Fred Rogers was being honored with a Life-time Achievement Award for his long-running PBS show, “Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood.” I’ve always liked Mr. Rogers. I watched his show when I was a kid and He’ll always be a model of the power of integrity for me.

That night, on the Emmy Awards show, Mr. Rogers talked about how his career in television started: “I always wondered,” he said, “Why can’t we take this thing called television and use it to bring a message of grace to the world?”

That’s exactly what his show was all about! He took the core message of the gospel and translated it into language that even children can understand. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and with all your strength and with all your mind, and love your neighbor as yourself.” (Luke 10:27) “Who is my neighbor?” the young lawyer asked Jesus. (Luke 10:29) “Won’t you be my neighbor?” Mr. Rogers asks of us.

In his acceptance speech, Mr. Rogers took a moment to thank the people who “helped him into being.” He then asked the audience, “Won’t you join me in silence for ten seconds to remember the people who have helped you become who you are? I’ll watch the time.” And for the next ten seconds, on national television, there was silence. The cameras panned the audience of glitzy, glamorous people, many of who had tears rolling down their cheeks, as they remembered the people who had helped them “into being.” Once again, Mr. Rogers used the medium of television to bring a message of grace to the world.

All of us are not only products of our own work and achievement, but have been blessed by the efforts of so many more than we might ever imagine. Today as we honor our graduating high school seniors we will pause and together remember the blessings of the roots and wing given us through our families, Church, and most importunately our Heavenly Father.

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