Many of my friends will be graduating college one month from now.  Every so often, someone groans and utters the word "senioritis."

They can't focus. Don't want to work.  After all, they've hustled for 16 years!  The drudgery of public education is nearly complete!  The real world awaits!  This work is boring anyway!

We did this in high school as well - why work for a  goal that had been, for all intents and purposes, already achieved?  A slackening in work output wouldn't result in the retraction of a diploma.  Besides, all we really wanted to do was spend time with one another before heading to college.

This senioritis phenomenon seems to occur among some of those who are entering the last decades of an already full life.  They're 65 or older.  They've spent 40 years hustling for their employers.  They have enough money saved to last them the rest of their lives.  Don't they deserve to take a break, relax, and withdraw from the constant busyness around them?

In many ways, certainly, they do.  And yet - when running a race, no one slows down as they approach the finish line.  No one thinks, well, I worked myself pretty hard those first 300 meters, so I'll just take my time on these last 100. No, the runner presses on, speeds up, finishes well!

So, what is our mindset?  In life, or the microcosmic years of high school and college, have we defined our purpose?  Do we consider it a race to win or something that we just have to push through?   As we ease off the level of toilsome labor, do we take the rest of our cards off the table and resign completely?  Certainly, in our senior years, we have knowledge and experience to pass on to those coming after us.  Do they not deserve the opportunity to learn from the wisdom their elders have gained?

I graduate in December 2011.  I plan on taking easy classes.  I am sure, even then, that it will be hard to find the motivation to complete my assignments.  I'm ready to leave the public education system and move on to new things.  Yet, without doubt, I will be back here early to help next year's freshmen move in.  I will continue to be a mentor to younger men in my faith community, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship.  I will go on every Appalachia Service Project trip that I can.  This last semester of college is not the time to rest on my laurels.  It is time to give back.

How about you?  Do you feel like you're trying to win a race or just push through an unwanted chore?  If your journey is winding down, how can you look to those who are just starting out on that same path and offer them something of value?