National Honor Society Induction Ceremony, October 23 ,2017
2017-18 National Honor Society Members:
Emira Erickson (Vice President)
Elizabeth Hamill (President)
Tori Moorman (not pictured)
Good evening. What an exciting night this is! My name is Elizabeth Hamill, I am a senior, and this is my second year in National Honors Society. I came to New Life as a freshman after I graduated from a K-8 Christian school in Hudson, WI where my family and I live. I never would have dreamed how much this school, my teachers, and my classmates and peers would come to mean to me. Once I heard a pastor say “A school that’s alive is worth the drive,” and I have learned how true that is. And I’m glad it’s true because every morning my brother and I have a 25 minute commute into school from Hudson, and, since we frequently can’t agree on what music to listen to, we have both started listening to a sermon series called “Your Move” by Andy Stanley–which I highly recommend if you’re interested. Will and I are hooked.
Andy’s latest series,called “How to Get What You Want” has really struck a chord with me, and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it since I listened to it a few weeks ago. In this series, Andy’s main point was that we will never really get what we want unless we discover what we value most. And he said that what we want naturally is continuously in conflict with what we ultimately value.
And in the third episode of this sermon series Andy talked about a chapter of Stephen Covey’s book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People which I am sure some of you parents and teachers have read. In this chapter, Stephen Covey told his readers to imagine that they were at their own funeral and consider and write down what they would want their family, friends, coworkers, and neighbors to say about them. And then Stephen Covey wrote this quote, which really changed Andy’s perspective. He said, “If you carefully consider what you wanted to be said of you in the funeral experience, you will find your definition of success .” And Andy said that as he began to examine all of the things that he wanted his loved ones to say about him, he found that none of them had anything to do with any sort of accomplishment, but they had everything to do with his character and how he treated others.
You may be thinking that it’s really strange that this would be making an impact on me. I’m only 18 with, God willing, a whole life ahead of me, and it’s not like I want to write my own eulogy but I have been making big decisions about college and how I want to spend my future and what direction God is calling me to go in. And as I think about Steven Covey’s challenge to us, I don’t want to be remembered by the grades I had or the job I had or the money I made or anything like that. And I’m sure this is true for you, too. In the end we want to be remembered for our integrity, our honesty no matter the cost, our love for those around us. Even though this world values academic success and professional success and the like, that is truly our definition of what real success means.
This is a group full of academic, athletic, musical, and artistic success and I know that I would be completely remiss if I did not congratulate all of you on your achievements tonight. I know they are hard earned. It is truly an honor to be in the National Honors Society. Yay us!
Parents, for your son or daughter to be inducted into the National Honors Society they had to fill out an application and have an interview to prove that they exhibit all four qualities that the National Honors Society is based on: scholarship, leadership, service, and character. I congratulate you all for these achievements which extend so far beyond academics. I applaud you for your leadership skills and your service to the community and the exemplary character you have displayed. It is truly an honor to be the president of such an amazing group of people. I feel humbled and blessed.
Tonight is indeed about celebrating the accomplishment of being inducted into a group with such a high bar.
But more importantly, we are all Christ followers, and the bar has been raised even higher than this for us. We are called to an even greater type of success, the kind of success Andy Stanley spoke about. The success that is connected to what we ultimately value.
And fellow NHS members, I really feel that we would all be mistaken if we made this night and this society all about honoring our own accomplishments because we Christ followers know that God has equipped us with these talents.
Though we honor each other tonight, we must also realize that all of these accomplishments and talents we have that have gotten us into NHS mean absolutely nothing if we do not use them for God’s purpose.
God has blessed each of us with abilities and gifts, but he did not give them to us for our own glory. He gave them to us so that we may use them for His glory. As Christians, we must take things one step further and ask not only what do we want ultimately but what does God want for us? And God has really put it on my heart that what he wants for us, for this group, is to take these talents and use them for his kingdom.
1 Peter 4:10-11 says, “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.”
So let’s be a National Honors Society that honors God first. That uses our gifts our talents to serve with compassion and love for those around us. I see so much amazing talent here in front of me that if we harness it and use it as servant leaders, imagine what we can accomplish for God’s kingdom! We all know that Jesus took five loaves and two fish and fed five thousand. Just think of what he could do with the 47 of us if we let the Spirit lead us this year.
So I ask you all to come alongside of me as servant leaders, honoring God first and using NHS for his purpose.
And I really want to ask the teachers and parents for prayer for us that we may see God’s purpose and opportunities. Thank you so much. I am excited to see how God will use us and I hope you are too.