AA Senior Grady O. Delivers Chapel Talk
2017, May 9 – Living full lives that are dedicated to God with a focus on His will for us presents a challenge, said Grady O. in his chapel talk, delivered on May 3. Striving for this perspective on our lives requires diligence.
Grady spoke about some of the ways he works to keep his faith a priority. “Every evening, before I go to sleep,” he said, “I am disappointed with the way I have interacted with my friends and the things I have thought.” Avoiding the illusion of endless time to make amends, Grady said that we must ask immediately for forgiveness from God and those we hurt.
Every morning, Grady said, “I pray to God to help me be a light unto the world, to make a positive impact, to treat others the way He treats me.” Of course, we fail, he said. “We cannot earn our way into Heaven. I thank God every day that I am not judged by my good works compared to my sin.”
Over the past year, Grady said that he has realized is that “my relationship with Jesus is not about me.” If we live our lives as Christians based on our own priorities, we will forget our true purpose. “My life’s purpose,” Grady said, “is to bring Christ up and to show others how great He is, not how great I am.”
Grady said that he spends more time appreciating and enjoying the blessings of his life. “Rather, I should be using that time to worship Him by giving thanks for my blessings.” That gratitude extends to the knowledge that Jesus died for our sins. “Because Jesus did this, we are to devote our lives to worshipping Him and bringing others to the saving knowledge of Christ,” said Grady.
Many of his family and friends were among the special guests for his chapel talk. Acknowledging their role in his life, he said that they “have shown me unconditional love . . . and have assisted me through action and prayer.”
He paid a special tribute to the men who “have shown me what a Godly man looks like.” They are his role models through their own lives spent “relying on God to show them how to love and live,” he said. One of the men, Juston H., has particularly influenced his life. “He has taught me many lessons through sports, work, and life that I can take with me wherever I go,” said Grady.
He expressed his appreciation for the blessing of a great family. “God has blessed me with a close relationship with my brother. I am proud of the man he is becoming,” Grady said.
That close bond extends to his parents who “have been there for me whenever I have been in need,” said Grady. “They are the definition of what a parent should be, and I am so blessed that they are in my life.”
As he moves forward to new challenges and opportunities after graduation, Grady said that he “hopes and prays that God’s will is done in my life and that others can see His love through me.” He thanked his fellow students, along with family and friends for “all you have done in my life.”
In his years as a student at the Academy, Grady has served in a wide range of leadership roles. He serves as president of the Student Government Organization (SGO) this year and has served as an SGO officer each year.
Grady is a member of the National Honor Society and has received first-place awards in the forensics competition of the Association of Virginia Academies (AVA). He has participated in the cabaret program and organized the Academy’s “Never Forget 9/11” program.
As a student-athlete, Grady has received numerous awards, including cross-country runner of the year in the Virginia Colonial Conference (VCC). This year, he received All-State recognition, as well as All-Conference and All-Academic for cross country. Grady has also played varsity basketball and baseball.
Attending Grady’s chapel talk program were his mother and stepfather, Malinda and Frank S., and his brother Jack O. and Kevin K. Family friends in attendance included Juston and Ashley H. with their daughter Lainey and their son Keagan H., Pastor Mark and Cathy W., Pastor Jamie E., Jessica H., Kathy R., and Joan and Kim P. Oher special guests included his friend Hannah F. and her parents Belinda and Jason F., and his friend Dustin M.
The Class of 2017 and guests attended a reception following the chapel talk program.