“I was brought up knowing God – both my parents were Christians and so took me to church each week, and I was taught the common Bible stories as many Christian children were. However, this didn’t seem to translate to my life outside of Church. Going along to Church for a few hours per week seemed to fit my life, I could be spiritual then, and myself the rest of the time. I went along mainly because it’s what I’d always done, my parents couldn’t leave me home alone, so took me along. Even so, I still didn’t feel fully attached to God. My friends knew that I was a Christian, but I didn’t always act like one.
When I got to uni, and didn’t have my parents accompanying me to church, I let it slip. Through the whole excitement of first year university, living for myself, cooking, cleaning, managing work and fun, as well as societies and sports, my faith was dropped to make time for all of it. “You still know God is there, you don’t have to go to church every week to be Christian” was my thought process. But the truth is, I wasn’t going any weeks, and I was slowly walking away from God.
One of my flatmates was also Christian, and before we’d even moved into halls, back in early September, she had messaged me about how she was happy to be living in a flat with another Christian, and she wouldn’t be alone in her faith. For a few weeks she noticed that I hadn’t been to Christian Union, and she called me out on it, asking why I wasn’t there, or at a church. Before I could answer her, I had to ask myself why. The truth was, it had just fallen low on my priority list. If I’m honest with myself now, it is probably because as a child it had never been an active choice to go to church, and believe in God, it was just something I’d always done, so now at uni, I had no motivation to go. Playing video games with my new friends, or getting on with coursework had become important in my life, because they were the stepping stones on which to move my life along.
I agreed with my flat mate to go along to CU, and I haven’t looked back since, I also joined her Church in Norwich, and felt a lot better, like a hole in my life had been filled in. Still, I haven’t given up my hobbies, I just reshuffled my time and priorities and am still able to enjoy skills and gifts that God has given to me, for which I am extremely grateful.
What I’m trying to say is if you’re building a faith, or have had one for a while, the best thing you can do to reinforce it is to immerse yourself in it, and to surround yourself with those who believe in God with you. Then you can build each other up, and head into the world to spread the Good News.
Luke 10: 1-2: ‘After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place He was about to go. He told them “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few”’
He bands us together so we may build and support each other, so that we can be in the world, but not of the world.”
- Josh Kerr, Second Year, Mathematics