As May draws to a close, colgradhat1high school seniors are stepping out of the comforts of school and–after a brief respite in the summer–are soon to begin the next phase of their lives.

I remember when I graduated. Several of us spent the entire evening on a little plot of land in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by a fire, just talking and reflecting.

A person graduating high school often thinks “I don’t know how I’m going to live without this friend or that.” And while this may not be true of every graduate, in my experience, it’s easier to live without them than you think.

Maybe that’s cynical, but I’d say it’s realistic. In my case, half of my class was composed of people I never associated with. Those are the people I only knew because I saw them five days a week, seven hours a day. Honestly, I can’t even remember most of their names. It’s been 12 years and I don’t know if I’d know them if I saw them walking around the Morrilton Wal-Mart (I try to avoid going there just in case I run into someone I grew up with). The rest of the kids in school, the ones I actually cared about, I keep up with on Facebook. The very few really close friends I might actually talk to on facebook. That’s it.

You spend that graduation night thinking “how will I live without these people” and a decade later, you realize it wasn’t that hard at all.

Graduation is a big life changing moment; it is society’s way of validating a young person’s gradual transition from child to adult. Before, you were just a kid in school. After, you are expected to be a productive member of society. All that changed was they handed you a diploma. In reality you’re the exact same person the Monday-after that you were on your last Friday before Graduation. Nothing’s changed with YOU, only with the way people perceive you.

I said all that to say this: Graduation is a big moment, but after a while it won’t matter. There are other big moments still to come: College graduation, marriage, parenthood, buying a house, etc. Those are all events just as monumental, but like high school graduation they all share something in common: They all involve the here and now. They all involve our continued maturing and our growth in this life.

As life altering as it is to graduate (or do any of those other “big” things in life), the fact is life will one day end. It’s more important to ensure that our souls are secure, that our hearts are right, and that our lives are hid in Christ. Graduation will one day be a distant memory.

Eternity is forever.