Have you ever been around a crying baby? When babies cry they can’t express in words what they want, they just know something isn’t right. So when a baby is thirsty it just screams.
Since September I’ve been doing a discipleship course at St Thomas Crookes, in Sheffield. One of the things I’ve realised is that, before the course began, I was so thirsty for God without knowing it - I just knew something was wrong.
I think for most of us, we can sometimes feel like things aren’t making sense, that something is not right but that we cant figure out why. These feelings come out in the actions we take, in the way we interact with people and how we feel about our lives. I think that this is because often we are like crying babies – we don’t know we’re thirsty, we just know something isn’t right.
For me, this gap year has been a time of putting myself in a place to meet with God. Not a physical place as such, but setting aside an entire year to meet with Him in whatever way he chooses to meet with me.
When we meet Jesus we are invited to drink pure, clean, fresh water – and to quench the thirst we may not know we had. These times of meeting can be (and should be) on a daily and weekly basis. However, my prayer for us all is that at Ripon this year we will once again realise our need for Jesus and that our thirst will be quenched as we meet with Him.
‘My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?’ Ps 42:2
About the Author
Brogan came to faith through the youth ministry at St Thomas Crookes in Sheffield when he was 15, and now volunteers as a youth worker. Born and bred in Sheffield, he recently finished the discipleship year at St Toms and is off to York next year to study theology.
Recently, and also not so recently, I’ve been thinking about a set of verses which, if you’ve ever been to a church wedding, you will have definitely heard before. It’s from 1 Corinthians Chapter 13:
“Love is patient, Love is kind. It doesn’t envy, it doesn’t boast, it isn’t proud. It isn’t rude. It isn’t self-centred. Love isn’t easily angered; it keeps no record of wrongs. It isn’t happy with injustice but rejoices in the truth. Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails!”
You might be thinking, ‘aw that’s a nice passage,’ and you’d be right but it’s a lot more spectacular when you remember that the Bible also says that God IS love. Sometimes it’s tempting to think of God as a big judgmental guy sitting up there getting all mad at the world, me included. If so, look at it this way:
God is patient, God is kind. He doesn’t envy, He doesn’t boast, He isn’t proud. He isn’t rude. He isn’t self-centred. God isn’t easily angered; He keeps no record of wrongs. He isn’t happy with injustice but rejoices in the truth. God always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. God never fails!
But this is how God want us to be like as well. Love is THE most important, and one of the most forgotten things about Christianity. And it’s hard I know! But maybe with God’s help we can all get a bit closer to being like Him.
About the author
Elise is 22 and from Barnsley in't North. She's currently doing a post-grad course to be a Primary School Teacher and practicing very hard to perfect a good stern look. She's been coming to Ripon for 8 years and can't wait to be a leader again this year and dress up as a farmer.
A few years ago at Ripon we were told that God makes us better by giving us situations that challenge us, like if we ask for patience, He will make us practice having patience. I asked for help with my confidence in myself as I have trouble speaking/doing something in front of large audiences. I believe God has helped me with this recently by giving me opportunities to test my confidence. Recently at school, I have played the music at the start and end of Gathering and applied for House Captain. This required me having an interview with a senior member of staff, out current head girl and four year 7s, which to me was daunting. I don't think self confidence is made only for speaking or being in front of people, as I have realised I needed self confidence for other things I do, such as climbing. I have needed a lot of help here to build myself up to believe I can do the moves to get me up the wall, but slowly my confidence is growing and I think I can climb better because of this and God's help by giving me challenging routes to overcome.
Recently I have been taking my A level exams and I prayed to God to help me get good grades. I then realised that I should actually be praying for me to get as good grades as I deserve as God has given me my ability to work hard and I need to do it myself. In this way I have also started to accept things that go wrong because I know that this is Gods plan and He is worth trusting through the good and bad.
About the Author
Maddey is a 17 year old student from Skipton. She's been coming to Ripon for 4 years and this year will be joining as a junior leader