With what shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before God on high? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousands of rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? Micah 6: 6-8
As I prepare to leave the house each morning, I see those words several times- I have an old SCM postcard stuck to my bedroom door. Thinking back to when I received that postcard and a little further to when I began university, my life is not what I expected it would be. It often seems like for any plan or expectation I had, God decided that things should move in an entirely different direction, and each time I have been completely unprepared.
Early adulthood and student life is a transformative time for our faith and identity. Often it will be the first time that we can do exactly as we like and at university there is so much to do. We meet people with wildly different experiences and outlooks, form part of a new community, and grow and change into adulthood.
So, what about God in all this? Can we prepare for God's presence and action in our lives? With all my worries and uncertainties I keep coming back to this passage in Micah- do justice, love kindness, walk humbly with God. You can't go far wrong with that.
With the new academic year about to start, it's a good time to pause, take stock, and prepare for the year to come. Reflect - What has happened in the past 12 months? What would I like to happen in the next 12 months? How can I prepare?
On a practical level, the start of term is a great time to make and freeze some meals; later on when deadlines are tight and money is low, the preparation will pay off!
Ever faithful God, as the world changes around me, we change too. Help us prepare to be challenged, open our minds to allow new friendships and opportunities. Stay with us when faith wavers, and guide us on your path. Amen.
Written by Lucy Parker, SCM Member.