Statement: (Y)ou are great. You are amazing!
Response: No one has ever said that about me before.
Some lines from the short film Validation (16:23). Have you watched it? Some reflections below.
Each one of us (and many groups of people from families all the way up to human beings as a species) thirst to be validated/understood/accepted as we really are. To expand on this theme, despite our striving to be validated/understood/accepted, we only come to know who we are truly intended/created to be in Christ Jesus. The smile/joy of following Christ Jesus is being drawn into close relationship with the Father and having our lives overflowing with the Word and Spirit as part of the Body of Christ (which extends across time, space, geography, ethnicity, culture). By God’s grace, the fruit of the Spirit bursts forth from individuals and community in a daily life of reproducing the likeness of Christ Jesus.
What a transformative encounter when one first comes face-to-face with true love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control in one’s home, local congregation, neighborhood, campus/workplace, parking lot, grocery store, shopping mall, photo center. … I/we are in need not only of that first encounter, but the constant presence of the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Why? To address the shallowness, unrealized hopes, brokenness, injustices/oppressions, and human failings brought to us by our own sin, the flesh, the devil, and the world in all aspects of our lives, i.e., spiritual, physical, intellectual, emotional, aesthetic, and social. In case you haven’t noticed, Following Christ 08 has not worn off and I’m still digging into the theme of Human Flourishing along with some superb audio … please join me in doing such 😉
Also, if you have a particular story of validation as a follower of Christ in higher education, which you wouldn’t mind sharing with those who frequent the blog, please do such.
Tom enjoys daily conversations regarding living out the Biblical Story with his wife Theresa and their four girls, around the block, at Elizabethtown Brethren in Christ Church (where he teaches adult electives and co-leads a small group), among healthcare professionals as the South Central PA Area Director for the Christian Medical & Dental Associations (CMDA), and in higher ed as a volunteer with the Emerging Scholars Network (ESN). The Christian Medical Society / CMDA at Penn State College of Medicine is the hub of his ministry with CMDA. Note: Tom served with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship / USA for 20+ years, including 6+ years as the Associate Director of ESN. He has written for the ESN blog from its launch in August 2008. He has studied Biology (B.S.), Higher Education (M.A.), Spiritual Direction (Certificate), Spiritual Formation (M.A.R.), Ministry to Emerging Generations (D.Min.). To God be the glory!