Phil Stone, director of Scargill Movement, talks this week about the graffiti we get on our hearts and what is obscured underneath.
Out of interest the other day I was looking at a job description (don’t worry Scargillites I’m not leaving!) and I saw in the spec that having a theology degree was essential. It raised within me some of the internal struggles I have had to deal with in my journey with God and as a human being. I left school at 16 with only a handful of O levels to rub together. Academic achievement seemed a world away. It was a huge leap from there to being called to ordination at the age of 21. It almost felt impossible as so many clergy had degrees in theology and understood so much.
As a young man my perceived lack of academic abilities was beginning to shape my life and my identity. It has taken several years of prayer and people who have encouraged and supported me for me to discover that I was not as thick as I thought I was and that I could manage the theological training that allowed me to be ordained. I remember my first day at Ridley hall at Cambridge when we were introducing ourselves. When most people were quick to share their doctorates and master degrees and all I had was my two O Levels! It begs the questions where do we find our identity? Since then I have dabbled in some further study.
The deep seated thinking, that I was thick, had become, as a good friend describes, ‘graffiti on the heart’. We’ve all got some. This is an area in which God has had to work on with me. It makes me think that negative graffiti on people’s hearts which shapes their identity stops them from hearing God’s call upon their life.
When I heard God calling for me to be ordained I said to myself, ‘I thought I was thick.’
The question we need to keep asking ourselves is – what is the graffiti on our hearts that God wants us to deal with? And will we allow him? For we have to remember that what God wants to write on our hearts, and is already there if we can get rid of the rubbish, is this – ‘You are my child, whom I love, with whom I am well pleased.’