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Farewell worship from Chaplain Eric

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The older I’ve become, the more I see life as being like a rear-view mirror of a car. There are always opportunities to look back, but ultimately you have to keep moving forward.

I started as a student at Redcliffe in 2008. It’s been 10 years since I left Year 11. One thing my 16-year-old self was certain of was I’d never go back to SMRT. “They couldn’t pay me to ever come back”, I’d often think to myself.

I had dreams of being a successful visual artist, painting and drawing portraits. I went on to pursue this dream and did fairly well. My art was recognised by famous rappers & musicians online, I designed T-shirts and album covers, and had some exhibitions around Bristol. I went on to song-write and record music (which I still do to this day), model in London, and work part-time in retail shops.

Something in me was crying out for more meaning in my life. Fast forward, in November 2020 I began working as the Chaplain of SMRT. My 16-year-old self wouldn’t have believed it. The past two-three years have been the most meaningful and impactful years of my life. I’ve seen the growth of so many students, witnessed so many amazing moments that brought tears to my eyes, and got to be a part of a community that as a teenager, I couldn’t wait to leave behind.

When I look in the rear-view mirror of my life, I see a teenager who tried to please everybody, thought he had to be perfect, and was afraid of being his true self. As an adult, I’ve learnt that the important thing is to try to do what’s right, even if it doesn’t please everyone. I’ve learnt that you can grow from mistakes and receive forgiveness, and being your true self is the most satisfying feeling you’ll ever experience.

As you all get older, your rear-view mirror is going to get much bigger and contain a lot more things. Right now, I want you to take a few minutes to reflect on your life so far. Get a piece of paper and draw an outline of a rear-view mirror. Write down the things you see in your past that have helped shape you into who you are today. That could be places you’ve travelled to, friends, family members, hobbies etc. Then draw the outline of a car window and write down the things you see ahead of you. That could be what you want to study after leaving school, where you’d want to live, what job you’d want to have etc. Understand that you are on a journey, you don’t need to have all the answers right now, and things will make more sense with time.

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I now want to thank each and every one of you for adding a wonderful two years to the rear-view mirror of my life. I’ll look back on my time here with fondness and gratitude. God bless you all!

Dear Lord,
Thank you for the past that is behind us and the future that lies ahead of us. Help us to trust you with the direction and plans for our lives, and to do all we can to grow into who you’ve made each of us to be. Amen


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