New principal encourages CHS graduates

·2 min read

May 20—Lesa Downing, who will be the Creston Middle School principal next school year, looked at some of the Creston High School seniors Wednesday during the school's baccalaureate service and proverbially went back in time.

"What would I want to hear," she asked the students visioning herself among them. "I've got my whole life to live," she said starting her speech.

Downing has been with Creston schools since 1996.

Downing said while perusing through books and using prayer writing for her speech, she kept coming back to the phrase, "if you don't change direction you end up right where you are headed."

"So where are you headed," she rhetorically asked the students.

Downing said she was no different than they were as the were circumstances and other moments than created detours and influenced her off the road.

"I've been pulled off the path," she said. "I felt like God was not a priority."

Downing said there was a moment in her life that involved a family emergency and said God gave her a sense of peace to get her through the incident and back on the path.

"God will bring you back," she said.

Downing advises the school's Fellowship of Christian Athletes chapter, a national organization that guides coaches and athletes at professional, college, high school, junior high and youth levels to reach others on a spiritual level.

"The road of righteousness is less traveled," she said. "Is it a purpose driven life?"

No matter what the future holds for the 115 Creston graduates, Downing gave those in attendance three pieces of information to use.

"You have God given talents," she said. "Imperfect people (in the Bible) were used significantly." Moses went against God's wishes, but eventually redeemed himself by saving the Israelites from slavery. Peter, one of the disciples, denied Jesus before being forgiven and spreading the ministry of Jesus to others.

Downing also told the students to "seek God's direction." Downing used today's technology as an analogy for the students that the direction probably won't be known for a lengthy amount of time with much trial and error.

"It's a process," she said. 'It's not an instant download. And give yourself grace."

Using another analogy, Downing told the students to be the light of the world.

"Light dispels darkness," she said, encouraging the students to make good, moral choices and preventing others from getting into darkness.

"Your family can tell what you believe by how you live your life."

Commencement is 2 p.m. Sunday at the high school.