“There’s a good reason they call these ceremonies ‘commencement exercises,’” Utah Senator Orrin Hatch once said. “Graduation is not the end; it’s the beginning.” The same is true of baptism. Both events are often approached as an end point reached with relief: “Well, at least that’s done!” With the degree — or salvation — in hand, some people feel no further need for education — or spiritual growth.
Just remember: You’re at the starting gate, not the finish line. Well-wishers encourage new grads, “Don’t stop now; you’re on a roll. Even greater things are ahead!” And Hebrews 12:1 (NRSV) urges the baptized, “Run with perseverance the race that is set before [you].” While a diploma bears the seal of the graduate’s school, Christians themselves are sealed with the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13; 4:30) and the cross of Christ. To take full advantage of each, we must continue learning and growing.