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Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Priorities

So on placement yesterday the SLT (Speech and Language Therapist, for the ill-educated among you) suggested that she feels I have problems in time management because she doesn't feel that the placement has been a priority for me this term.

Well, to put it plainly, she'd be right!

But it got me thinking (as these sorts of comments about workloads etc always do) about my priorities.

Because, to be fair, despite being in my 4th year, I'm sure my degree has not been a priority for me this term. (I can hear the gasps - the loudest coming from coursemates, and probably my parents....bear with me!)

Sat in her office yesterday, I felt I should apologise to the SLT for my lack of placement, and general-work-related, focus. I started worrying, and all the comments I've heard from (good) friends over the years came flooding back - "God brought you here to do a degree", "You're not serving God if you don't work hard at your course"...

Thing is, whilst I firmly believe that I should work to honour God even with the boringness of revision and essay writing - Colossians 3:23-24 is posted above my desk as a constant reminder of this for when I feel like getting distracted - I can't help but feel that God didn't bring me here JUST to do a degree. My degree is only part of the reason I'm here.

And whilst I genuinely enjoy my course (good job, that!) and am looking forward to becoming qualified (hopefully!), it's not my ultimate focus.

And whilst I want to do well and get good marks because I know that, in some way, I'm honouring God by using the gifts He's given me to be able to do so (and just because it's always nice to get good marks!), good marks are not really that important to me.

What's important to me is God. What's important to me is seeing people come to know Him. What's important to me is telling people about Him. (Romans 10:14). What's important to me is getting to know God better. What's important to me is seeing my brothers and sisters in Christ grow in Him.

And that's why, throughout most of my degree, but especially this term, my work has not been my priority.

Because I came back to Reading super-charged with an energy that only comes from God;
that only comes from having been part of and seen the great and awesome things He does in people's lives;
from catching just a glimpse, afresh, of how amazingly great, good, and gracious He is;
from wanting to see and feel and know and hear more of that;
from knowing that He will continue to move in people's lives;
from wanting to be part of that and serve Him in that because He is awesome in choosing to use us and because He deserves our service;
and because He is SO worthy to be praised that nothing else matters.

Please don't get me wrong here. I'm not saying that doing stuff for church or cell or CU should always take priority over writing an essay or preparing a presentation or revising or whatever - because as I said, part of being at uni is to get a degree (some would say the biggest part) - and if God's brought you here then you need to work hard at and get that degree, and serve God to the best of your ability in that. (But I still firmly believe that it's important to get involved in church, cell and CU and serve using whatever gifts God has given you, for His glory).
And I'm not saying that doing stuff for God is a priority as much as I'm saying that living for and drawing close to Him is.

But what I AM saying is that, for me at least, my degree (and this goes for other things, not just my degree) is not the be-all-and-end-all. God has taught me, challenged me and encouraged me SO much this term - mainly through the lives of and conversations with the many fantastic Christian friends I have here. And also through seeing what He's doing in people's lives, the way He's moving in this place.

The eternal perspective, that's what it's all about.

And so, as I sat in her office yesterday and she implied that my priorities were wrong, I couldn't help feeling that, actually, they're right.

And I hope and pray that God will ALWAYS be my priority.

1 Comments:

Blogger thebluefish said...

As someone who never prioritised my degree enough, largely because i couldn't do the subject... I'm just actually not good enough at Maths... there is a challenge for us to develop a wide and practical enough definition of worship such that academic excellence is done to the glory of God..

10:16 AM  

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