13th-15th November was Bath CU Weekend Away. Until now I’ve somehow managed to find plenty of other ways to put off doing coursework rather than write this.
Spinning Plates & Road Deaths
The main speaker, a guy called Pete Greasley, started out by saying that while he comes away from a lot of Christian conferences feeling guilty and burdened with all the things he should be doing or needs to change in his life, this weekend he was just going to talk about Jesus. I don’t think other conferences are necessarily bad for pricking our consciences and maybe making us think about things we should or shouldn’t be doing that we wouldn’t otherwise have thought about, but I was very happy with his approach.
Two illustrations particularly stood out for me.
One was related to the introductory statement where we are bombarded with the things we should be doing as Christians. Things can easily add up like more and more spinning plates and it’s a struggle to keep them all going. Well, since there’s nothing we need to do to be saved, stop worrying about them. Just concentrate on loving God, and the rest will happen naturally. I don’t think that means we don’t need to put any effort into living a life of consistent Christian integrity (I’ve been listening to Joel Beeke again), but if a plate falls occasionally, it’s not a disaster, thankfully there’s nothing we can do to stop God loving us.
The other challenged how we think about the sacrifice Christ made for us. Particularly for those of us brought up to go to church every Sunday, it’s easy to forget just how much our salvation cost and take it for granted. Pete spoke of a person crossing the road who’s about to get hit by a car, but another man pushes him out of the way and dies himself. All the onlookers would be very impressed by the way the man put someone else’s life before his own, but that feeling would be nothing compared to the man who was saved. For him it’s personal, that man died for ME. He would think about it every day for the rest of his life, “I wouldn’t be here, if it wasn’t for that man’s sacrifice”. Jesus deserves that kind of appreciation from us.
Comparing Cadbury’s & A Ceilidh
Last year was the first time I went on the weekend away. One of the highlights that made me feel stupid for not going the previous 3 years was the games in the afternoon. That didn’t happen this year, so no Wotsit Face, no chance to see the CU President (at the time) eating a banana through a pair of tights pulled over his head, nor the VP eating mars bars out of baked beans using just her teeth to pick them up. 😦 Something was supposed to happen in the afternoon, but was cancelled due to the weather, so whatever was planned remains a mystery.
Instead we had a Ceilidh in the evening (more middle of the night, really, started at 11.30pm). I’m really not into dancing but will have a go if I’m told exactly what to do, and even – dare I admit it? – find it quite enjoyable. Apologies to anyone I might have kicked, or made a total mess of whatever I was supposed to be doing with them.
The Cabaret was again brilliant, James & Matt’s Fantabulous Band were predictably brilliantly predictable, the Fletch Sketch was hilariously weird, and the juggling and eating simultaneously was very impressive. It was slightly disappointing that 5 West Life couldn’t put in another performance this time around (although the band name wouldn’t make much sense to freshers now anyway), but CU Blind Date made up for it. Genius.