TRUST GOD IN THE HIGHS AND LOWS
Our VCE cohort have just finished their last exams and attended their Valedictory Dinner.
This special Valedictory event honours each student in their journey at St Andrews Christian College. But it also gives us one more opportunity to input into their lives before they venture into the big wide world.
As Principal, my speech on the night is delivered to bless each student, with a sole intention of reminding everyone of the main thing! The main thing being Christ.
In all the places that life will lead us, the victories and achievements, there will also be hard times where life will not go as planned. If our identity and significance in life is based on our VCE results, career, accumulated wealth or status then we are on the path of just self-fulfilment and life easily crumbles. If our identity is in Jesus, then everything that happens does so for a reason and we are able to glorify God through our talents, experiences, education and careers, and nestle into Him, learning from Him in our failures and disappointments.
I have recently read Sheridan Voysey’s story (The Making of Us: Who we Can Become When Life Doesn’t Go as Planned) of his pilgrimage in England, where he followed the steps of Cuthbert, who was a medieval monk. Cuthbert traipsed the countryside, evangelising, baptising thousands and influencing people for Christ. His influence helped change the course of history and Christianity took root in the north of England.
“Artists are judged by their body of work, not by one single painting or performance. And it seemed to me that Cuthbert’s life would be judged in the same manner – not by its headlines alone but by the fine print in between. He rose in rank, saw thousands come to faith, became a counsellor to kings and queens. But did any of these accomplishments outweigh the kiss placed on that fevered forehead? (Cuthbert cared for paupers and peasants).
Cuthbert’s one big thing wasn’t seeing ministries built, movements started, or any grand plan achieved. The one big thing was the entirety of his life. The great and the small of it given as an offering.
“ Cuthbert’s vision had been the Composer and the great symphony, performing whatever part he was called to play.”
So, the main thing in our lives, in whatever happens and wherever we are, is to keep trusting in the Lord and being a light for him in the big and the small, the important and the mundane things in life.
Proverbs 3: 1-6
My child, never forget the things I have taught you.
Store my commands in your heart. If you do this, you will live many years, and your life will be satisfying. Never let loyalty and kindness leave you! Tie them around your neck as a reminder.
Write them deep within your heart. Then you will find favour with both God and people,
and you will earn a good reputation.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.
seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.
At the end of his journey, Sheridan Voysey wrote a statement of how he was going to live life and he called it ‘The Creed’.
Be blessed, be encouraged and challenged as you read it.
The hand that spins the galaxies brought me into being.
The One who holds the stars has made me his own.
I am God’s child. My life is rich, my days are sacred.
I am held by a love that’s wider and higher than the farthest
edges of this expanding universe.
I am a pilgrim in this world, in search of wisdom and wonder.
I will take new adventures.
And follow God into the unknown.
What I achieve is not as important as the person I become.
So I will seek to imitate the Nail-Pierced One.
I will step in the direction of my strengths and talents.
They are Spirit-given tools for my God-given tasks.
I will pay attention to my persistent aspirations.
They could be the whispers of God.
I will serve all I can and walk deeply with a few.
I will aim for great things but leave my legacy to God.
The path is long and the terrain at times hard.
I will not wish for another’s life.
I will take my place, play my part.
Something important will be missed if I don’t.
For the hand that spins the galaxies wants me here.
(Adapted and abridged from The Making of Us: Who We Can Become When Life Doesn’t Go as Planned by Sheridan Voysey. Thomas Nelson publishers. © 2019 Sheridan Voysey)