O God, You have taught me from my youth, And I still declare Your wondrous deeds.
Everyday God is teaching us something new. Ripon is a place for learning from others and ultimately from God. Each Ripon many members meet God as a teacher, and that’s the same for leaders too. There have been times He’s taught me about the power of prayer and interceding for others, times He’s taught me that He is faithful and that faithfulness isn’t just Him giving me what I think I need, and times I’ve felt Him asking me to take the forgiveness of others seriously. There are seasons in my life where God seems to be teaching me something new every week, and times where I feel I don’t hear from Him for ages, although I trust that in those times He is still teaching me, even if I don’t realise it. Furthermore there are times I feel like he’s teaching me the same thing over and over again, and I just forget it every time. It feels like I’m stuck in a Vine or GIF that just keeps repeating; God teaches me something, I take note, I don’t put it into practice, I forget, God teaches me the same thing again. Repeat cycle.
Well as we approach Ripon (and those in charge of admin will agree that it is approaching with alarming speed), I’ve been thinking about preparation. Many of you will have had exams and be fed up with revision. But in the same way that we recap all we’ve learnt before an exam so we can move on to new things after the exam, so God wants us to recall all that he’s taught us before so He can teach us fresh things at Ripon this year. Now I’m not saying get out all your highlighters and neatly organised folders and then procrastinate by watching TV until your mum comes home from work and you realise you’ve wasted the whole day (I’m not the only one who has done that right?). But actually start recalling all God has taught you since you’ve started to recognise God’s presence, taking those things seriously and putting them into practice. At the same time be praying for God’s guidance in your life, that He would open your heart and teach you something new. In this way we won’t get stuck in a GIF situation, God can teach us fresh things and we can actually progress on our walk with Him.
Ruth Zealey has been a Christian for 3 years after meeting God at Leeds University through the work of St. Georges Church in the city centre. She is passionate about youth work and works in a speciality coffee shop. She quite likes her new smoking hot fiancé who she met at Ripon. She’s pretty great at Twitter, follow @ruthzee.