Thursday, 17 April 2008

Reflections on the Apprenticeship

Wow! How do you start to summarise 7 months in 400 words?! It’s a tough call… but one I will endeavour to accomplish in this little section here!

YPF, Christian Unions, Bible Clubs, Exploring Christianity, One-2-Ones, Co-Mission Training, Apprentice Meetings, working at the Kings Centre – the last 7 months have been a hive of activity! At first the adjustment from a slightly more relaxed (/lazy) university lifestyle was a bit of a shock to the system – no more late nights and lie-ins, no more constant coffees with friends with the occasional last minute rush to get an essay in. This year has been work!

The first term was a toughie. In hindsight I see the biggest thing God has been doing is some serious character adjustments (though sometimes it’s felt rather more painful than mere adjusting). I guess my perception of this year was it would be a great opportunity to try my hand at some new things, stretch my gifts and test the waters a bit. While that has happened to some extent, I’ve had to realise (and yes, I’m still realising) that any gifts God gives me are absolutely useless if my attitude is wrong – and yes, sometimes I have serious attitude issues! So God seems to have been showing me the error of my attitude, the extent of my pride and the deceptiveness of my motivations… not nice things to discover about oneself! By Christmas I was feeling the weight of my sin and pretty much in the mood to give up.

But the great thing about the gospel is that while God wants us to feel our sin, he doesn’t want us to stay there. And the New Year brought new beginnings… the last 4 months have been a slow recovery into understanding God’s grace (and I am by no means there yet!). I still have false motivations, I can still be overly critical, I still suffer with pride, but I’m learning everyday to wallow in the grace of the Lord Jesus and to know with absolute certainty that there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1).

So thank you for your support as a church, thank you for the opportunity to do this year, thank you for your prayers – they are much needed and much appreciated! Please pray I will continue to grow in Christlikeness and that God will be honoured as I go about the daily life of a CEC Apprentice!

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