Remember the old phrase, 'time flies when you're having fun'? Someone told me that in my first year (2000), a buzzing university fresher, as I moaned about graduating in 2006, God-willing! Medical school has certainly had its moments, but a speedy process it hasn't been. Plenty happens in six years in terms of 'life events' – at least four 'medical' weddings (with more to follow), funerals, others moving away in search of work or further study. Inevitably at some point we evaluate our own direction.
It's my last edition of Nucleus, and this is as good a time to reflect as any. How do we consider allocating our time and resources, planning our career, and the place we live? What about marriage: that's a significant change if we choose to tie the knot. A collection of 'marrieds' dispense their advice on the subject in the context of medical school on pp26-31. Most importantly, how do we keep Christian ministry completely central to our lives – in proclaiming the Lord's glory to all the nations, to Christians and non-Christians alike? In all these things, it's well worth asking such questions of ourselves often.
Enter guidance as an important issue. As those under God's authority, clearly it's essential to know what pleases him. However, a lot of our decision-making is less than stellar, as we frequently doubt him at his word. On matters of substance, we are often very slow to come to God and his Scriptures. A couple of passages in the Old Testament are quite helpful: Isaiah 48:17 explains God's goodness, 'I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you'. It should be of great comfort that this is true. Psalm 119 speaks of a writer who has rediscovered the joys of God's statutes and tells us of the wonder that they hold. He understands that '[his] word is a lamp unto [our] feet and a light for [our paths]' (Ps 119:105). James Williams, an SHO in Cardiff, examines specifically the issue of why the Bible is enough to guide us through life (pp32-35), and what God says to us through his Word.
Our overarching priority is to live a radical life as a disciple of Christ, whatever situation we are in. I imagine that a great many were at our national students' conference in February, and heard Peter Saunders speak on this topic – but for those not able to go, we have reprinted his excellent address in an abridged form (pp15-25). The main talks are available on CD from firstname.lastname@example.org. For a more general picture of what went on that weekend, Sophie Marnham, a first-time attendee, gives her verdict on whether it was worth her while (pp4-6).