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Rector's View - June 2009

Dear friends,

This month is dreaded by many as "exam time". It is also a crossroads in life - a time to decide what to do next. Young people often wander around stalls in careers or vocations exhibitions searching for their true meaning and purpose in life. Sadly, when people choose a particular path, their decisions are often made because they are more aware of their shortcomings than their talents. Many people have a poor idea of their self-worth, a low self-esteem.

When Jesus chose those he wanted to follow Him He knew their worth. He often chose people who had a poor sense of self-worth. St. Luke tells us that Simon Peter, overcome by the presence of Jesus, said "Leave me, Lord, for I am a sinful man." Jesus reassured him and encouraged him. His affirming words led Simon Peter, James, John and Andrew to become His first disciples. Jesus continued to call those who thought little of themselves or who were unpopular. When Matthew, the tax collector, was chosen as a disciple some people were critical of this. "Why does your master eat with tax collectors and sinners?" asked the Pharisees. Throughout His earthly ministry, Jesus inspired His followers with confidence and inner strength.

What does the call of the first disciples have to do with our own vocations in life? Firstly, the answers to our deepest questions about our path in life will not necessarily be found in leaflets or exhibitions. When Jesus was choosing His followers He didn't set up a stall in the market place with a big glossy advertisement. He just said, gently and confidently, "Follow me". As we are now Christ's body on earth we need to show one another our true purpose in life. We need to tell others what it is about them that makes them so important to the world.

There seem to be so many unhappy people in our society. Often this is because their faults and shortcomings are emphasised far more often than their talents and gifts. How do we encourage one another towards realising our vocations? It is so important to encourage and inspire children from an early age. Remember the words of an old saying: "If a child lives with criticism, he will learn to condemn; if a child lives with encouragement, he learns confidence; if a child lives with praise, he learns to appreciate." If we inspire the young, and the not so young! with confidence and a sense of self-worth they will grow in all those qualities which are so important. As we meet with other people, within church and outside, we are called to affirm one another and to discover each other's gifts. We are ALL being called to live out our vocations, to use our precious talents and our unique personalities.

With every blessing,

Stephen

Rev'd Stephen Abbott

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Last Modified Wednesday 25 May 2011